Yesterday was the first day I have been able to get out on my bike this year. I'm not one of those hardcore Alaskans who ride their bikes year round... at least not yet anyway, so I reserve my riding for the snow free months.
I honestly wish I was a faithful bicyclist, but the truth is that I'm spoiled. My truck is always a dependable mode of transportation that gets me where I need to be rain or shine with very little effort. The only downfall is the gas is expensive and stop lights, traffic and the like are beyond annoying.
Let's face it- riding your bike in Anchorage is a bit controversial. If you ride on the sidewalks, you are clogging up the pedestrian's area. If you ride in the street, you are really in the way and if you don't get run down- at the very least you will get the finger. I read the letters to the editor, so I understand the different feelings regarding bike riding along the streets of Anchorage.
I can honestly sympathize with both sides.
The truth is, riding your bike to get from point A to point B is a great way to get some exercise, emit less pollution (unless you eat a lot of protein), and have some fun along the way! I had a great time yesterday riding to and from my afternoon class at UAA, it was like being a kid again. I stuck to the trails and sidewalks and tried not to annoy any drivers, and I can't wait to do it again. Every car I encountered was courteous and I realized bikers and drivers can peacefully coexist as long as both parties respect the rules of the road, watch what they are doing and simply have a mutual human respect for one another's existence. It's that easy.
Anchorage has so many trails and amazing scenery that it's almost a waste not to get out of your car and see things from a different perspective once in awhile. At the very least you will get a great workout! Happy riding.