It ain’t over till it’s over…

It ain’t over till it’s over…

Winter.

Some places experience it longer than others.  Some places don’t seem to experience it at all.  I lived in the sleepy little fishing village of Cordova, Alaska for eight years.  Cordova became my home and will always have a special place in my heart.  What’s it like to live in Cordova?  Well, I lived in a very nice two story igloo- we didn’t have much of a polar bear problem because we trained eagles to protect our village.  I had a high-end dog sled with some wicked Husky-Chihuahua sled dogs that made the two day trip to the post office feel like it was only a day and a half.  Side note- just saw this on the Facebook:

So a baby seal walks into a bar and the bartender asks “What’ll you have?”

“Anything but the Canadian Club”

But I digress.

While commercial fishing from spring until fall- life seemed to blend into single work day- lasting for 8 months.  Not able to ride very often in the summer- winter was full of lots of activities outside.  Winter in Cordova can come on early- sometimes lasting from October until April.  The sun sets earlier in the winter- which also makes things difficult.  After spring equinox- the snow is still on the ground, the days are getting longer and you can get some amazing clear and cold days with blue skies that make you think you’ve died and gone to heaven (or at least to Alaska.)

I had my single speed mountain bike at the time and went on a few adventures in the snow- riding over frozen muskeg, rivers, lakes and ponds.  Cordova has a maritime climate- which means it’s warmer than the interior.  Occasionally while riding along over a frozen crust of snow- I would find a sink hole.  The front wheel would plunge into the snow up to the axle or even higher and I would either rack myself or get sent sailing over the bars to eat a face full of sno-cone (hopefully not the yellow flavor.)  I would ride alone in the woods for hours- in areas that were difficult to get around in the summer- with an ice beard and a smile from ear to ear.  Ahhhh.  That was the life.

Andrew sent this over- and it shot me back into thinking about it again.  This was shot in Kodiak- another beautiful part of the state.  These bikes are far better equipped than mine was for snowbiking.  One thing in particular to know about biking in deep snow is the fact that rim brakes don’t work so well with an ice glaze over the top of them…

Alaskan Winter Day and Night from Philip Tschersich on Vimeo.

It also got me thinking about riding bikes on Sheridan Lake.  A glacial lake- when the conditions were right you would find a bunch of folks out there ice skating.  It was pretty incredible- you can skate up icebergs that are frozen into the ice.  To this day it’s the only place I’ve ice skated uphill.  I would love, love, LOVE to shoot a video out there of people riding bmx out there with studded tires.  Though… people have been known to fall in because, well- icebergs move.

Thanks for the heads up Andrew.

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