slivka.com > Trips > Alaska 2011 > Mon Aug-22

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Mon Aug-22 Backroads Day 1: 47.2 bike miles, shuttle to Palmer, Independence Mine State Park, Wasilla, Lake Lucille Inn, Settlers Bay Lodge restaurant
Biking: 47.16 miles, 3h44m, 4,250' of climbing, maximum 45.4 mph, average 12.6 mph.
We got up, had breakfast at the hotel, and then met our Backroads Alaska Biking Trip group in the lobby. Fifteen guests, two Backroads guides (Ron and Blake), and one Backroads van driver (Lauran). [Small world story: Lauran was a guide on Lisa's Sicily trip earlier this year.]

We loaded up our luggage into the two vans and drove about an hour to Palmer, AK where we had a light picnic lunch while we got a trip briefing by our Backroads guides. Then it was time to set up our bicycles, pack snacks and water, and climb on our bicycles.

Nate took off first, and Ben got lost at the start for a mile before he found the route. We headed in a generally northerly direction, and Nate turned around a little bit early and ended up riding 31 miles.
The three fastest riders -- Chris, Tonya, and Neil -- cruising down from Independence Mine State Park:
Ben's handlebar view of a portion of the descent from Independence Mine State Park:
Ben rode the long option with most of the other group, arriving at the hotel after Nate and three faster riders.

We stayed at the Lake Lucille Inn, a Best Western Hotel on the shores of Lake Lucille in Wasilla, AK.

We met the rest of the group in the lobby at 6:15 p.m. and shuttled in the vans about 15 minutes to dinner at Settlers Bay Lodge where Ben enjoyed a bottle of 2005 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with Mike and Neil.

Then it was back to the Best Western to crash, interrupted only by a dog barking across the hall and guys above us moving about and talking at ~2:30 a.m. :-)

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