Anchorage is a really bike friendly town. It has several hundred miles of multi-use trails, a lot of people bike to work, and there are bike lanes everywhere.
It was even named one of America’s Best Bike Cities (take that Charleston, only #48).
Since riding my bike is one of those things I claim I love to do (and really, I do love it! When I take the time to get my bike down, inflate the tires, and find someone to ride with me I have the time of my life!), I forced Matt to spend an afternoon biking around with me.
We decided to explore the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. We’ve walked our dogs on it before, and saw a lot of people riding bikes so I figured ‘why not join ’em?’
The Tony Knowles Trail is an 11 mile trail that goes around the edge of Anchorage, starting from Kincaid Park in the southwest (moose & bear sightings!) and following the coast up to downtown. It leads to some pretty awesome views, and the chance to see wildlife. (BTW, still haven’t seen any on the trails. Must be the heat we’ve been having.)
We started at Earthquake Park for our bicycling journey, home of the monument that gives information about the Earthquake of 1964. On Good Friday in 1964, a huge and powerful earthquake hit the Anchorage area. In a few minutes, it did a huge amount of damage and destroyed any remotely historic areas of Anchorage. Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia (the most credible source on the internet, obviously).
Lasting nearly three minutes, it was the most powerful recorded earthquake in U.S. and North American history, and the second most powerful ever measured by seismograph.It had a magnitude of 9.2, making it the second largest earthquake in recorded history—the largest being the 1960 Valdivia earthquake in Chile.
We got to see where building had been washed from the land into the sea. It also created huge tsunamis, and it’s actually really cool and I recommend researching it yourself.
Back to our cycling. We rode a few miles and explored. We saw a lot of people on the trail, riding bikes, walking dogs, going for runs. I enjoyed chiming my bike bell every time we passed someone and singing (off-key of course) “ring my belllllll, ring my bell” every time I did it. I may or may not have embarrassed my husband. (Answer is may; I absolutely embarrass him every time we go into public together)
Near the Earthquake Park monument, we got to get down near the mudflats where you have an amazing view of downtown Anchorage, and we saw a lot of wildlife footprints.
It should be noted that the mudflats are incredibly dangerous and you should not under any circumstance venture into them. People die every year because they walk out, and get sucked into it’s quicksand-like trap. If the rising tide doesn’t drown you, then the rescue team trying to pull your body out may just rip you in half. So yeah, don’t go on them.
One cool thing is that we had a beautiful view of Downtown Anchorage from the mudflats, which I think is cool because it really helps show how Anchorage is this amazing city surrounded by beautiful and dangerous things. We’ve got mountains, oceans, earthquakes, bears, moose, mudflats, snow and ice, etc.
As we continued on our bike ride, we got to go by the airport! We got to see planes take off and land, and they were thisclose i felt we could reach out and touch them.
Matt also got to touch the Pacific Ocean for the first time ever!
He also did daredevil things like ride his bike down a steep gravel hill.
After skipping rocks into the water, we continued our ride. I’ve got this sweet mount for my bike, so I tried to take a selfie pic of Matt & I while riding.
Overall, it was a fun day spent doing outdoorsy and physically active things. Some people continue to ride their bikes into the winter and just put on studded bike tires and gloves that look like hulk hands. It is really intense, so I think I’ll just stick to riding in the non-snow seasons.