Destination: Kaladi Brothers Coffee, Anchorage (Tudor Rd)
Distance: 57.3 miles
Alert readers will notice that this ride occurred on Friday. I’m invoking rule #3a here, that allows weekday rides where your work schedule is not the normal Monday-Friday. I work a schedule with every other Friday off, so I think it qualifies.
Anchorage has just experienced the warmest October since records began in 1916. The average temperature in October was 43°F, more than 8°F above average. However, it has also been pretty wet. So while I was expecting to be doing shorter rides in cold and snow by now, I find I can still get some longer rides in on clear pavement.
A friend recently posted on Facebook that the Campbell Creek Trail is now open where it crosses under the New Seward Highway. This is a project long coming, as this east-west scenic trail through Anchorage along Campbell Creek was dissected by the Seward Highway. While it was possible to cross under the series of bridges over the creek, it was a push-your-bike-over-and-around-boulders affair while being careful not to hit your head on the low bridges. Now it’s a paved bike bath. So I decided to make a grand tour of Anchorage to include the Campbell Creek Trail and also the Coastal Trail with its newly paved sections, and of course stop for coffee somewhere along the way.
So I headed out from Eagle River in damp, but not actually raining conditions. The temps on this first day of November continued the trend from October, starting out about 37°F and rising to about 43°F by the end of the ride. I did wear booties as the roads were wet from earlier rains. The winds were calm so it made for pretty pleasant riding into Anchorage along the Glenn Highway. I took the Ship Creek trail and then got on the Coastal Trail downtown.
Much of the Coastal trail has been re-paved this summer, making for sublime riding. I only saw a couple of bikes and joggers on the entire trail.
I stopped near Point Woronzof and waited a few minutes for a jet to take off.
Included in the Coastal Trail re-paving project was resurfacing some of the bridges. The surface formerly was wood planking, that over time had become quite rough. But more impressively, they really nailed the transitions onto the bridges. They are now smooth as silk. Good job!
From Kincaid Park (the end of the Coastal Trail) I rode down West Dimond hoping to find some sort of coffee shop near Jewel Lake Rd. Didn’t see anything there or near Northwoods where the Campbell Creek Trail starts. So I continued on, and soon came to the New Seward Crossing. Nice!
The fabric fencing on the left is to deflect snow and debris from snow plowing on the highway above. Otherwise the trails are a mess from the gravel/sand/road salt that gets thrown on them. They work pretty well.
The only remaining obstacle on the Campbell Creek Trail is the Lake Otis Parkway crossing that requires a detour several blocks south to cross through a tunnel. Otherwise you take your chances with no convenient signaled crossings to be had. The trail further east is a gem though, traveling through forests and over numerous bridges to end up at Elmore. I continued east on Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave and Tudor to arrive at the known (to me) Kaladi Brothers Coffee Shop.
I was hungry, so I ordered a banana nut muffin with my Americano. Both were tasty.
I headed north on Patterson and bike paths to eventually connect up with the Glenn Highway Trail at Muldoon. A rare (for me) flat near Fort Richardson slowed my return a bit. But it was a nice ride, especially considering it is November!
Okay, technically I’ve got my seven rides in to complete the challenge! I hope to get a few more in before I’m done though!