I find myself more than a little overwhelmed these days as I prepare for Alaska. Making new friends with folks like Josh Spice, and his announcement that it is -40 in Fairbanks, along with gear strategies have all conspired against me of late. Spending 2 months on a bike in the AK in the middle of winter is definitely causing me much angst. The funniest thing of it all is Josh trying to convince me that using board shorts, as in tropical trees and bright color board shorts, are the best way to keep the family jewels warm and to annoy anyone who already thinks you are nuts for riding your bike in the snow. In the spirit of friendship, I did look at some bright colored shorts yesterday, but I was unable to pull the trigger on them. I think I will stick to my Craft Storm pants instead. Sorry Josh....
For the most part I seem to be spending more of my time in front of the computer searching routes, sorting gear, and networking, than I do writing here on the site. I know that this too shall pass, as does everything, but for now, I must simply persevere. I only have a few pieces of kit to acquire/make and I should finally be all set.
Most of the changes from last year revolve around the remoteness of AK and the frigid cold I am likely to encounter. I have always stayed safe by over-planning and over strategizing and I am sure that this trip is no exception. In another week I will hit the roads and trails with my Mukluk and kit and begin to sort out what is working and was isn't. The temperatures in the NE of the US have been up and down, but I am optimistic that shortly it will get cold and perhaps some snow will actually fall.
In January I am looking at making a quick pilgrimage to the 2nd Annual Fat Bike Summit and Winter Festival out in Idaho as a last minute opportunity to work out the kinks in my kit and do some epic riding around Yellowstone. The Summit looks like it is going to be an epic event; so if you are a fat bike enthusiast, be sure and check it out.