Alaska State Flag
June 18, 2010
Some time back I had mentioned that getting to a ride and playing tourist at a ride location was part of the fun of going on tours. The Konkike Bike Tour, however, went over the top in fun getting there and touring. For some time, Christine and her siblings had been planning a trip as a type of reunion without kids or grandkids. An Alaskan Inside Passage cruise with an inland trip was the decision. And for Christine and me, what tour would be complete without a bike ride? Skagway offered a bike tour down White Pass.
We were bussed up to the summit of White Pass at an altitude of a little over 3,000 feet. The tour would end at sea level and we assumed all 3,000 ft. would be downhill. Mostly it was.
At the summit we were given rain gear, not because it was raining, but to add a layer to stop the wind. Nothing but really warm clothing or being used to Alaska will stop the cold. At the bottom the temperature was low 50's and we were told that it was generally 20 degrees cooler on the top. "Cooler"--read cold. Remember, I am writing from the perspective of a Texan who insisted that the temperature be 55 or above during the winter, or no ride.
Both Christine and I had multiple layers of clothing. I had three layers on top and two below, add the rain gear and make that three. No matter that it made us look 60 pounds heavier.
Note the two above in dayglow green. Dinomite (Kelsey) and Lucas were our guides. Note the clothing worn by Lucas. Cargo shorts!!?? And that was his "kit" the whole ride. Probably a good candidate for the polar bear swim day.
While Kelsey and Lucas unloaded the bikes, we had time to look around at the scenery. (Editor's note: Looks cold, doesn't it...it WAS.)
The ride would get a good start as the truck caution sign generally indicates a decline of at least 6 percent. Note the bar extending from the sign. The bars will be explained later. Right now I do not want to detract from the beauty of the landscape.
Cold weather gear on: I am ready to take off.
Eventually WE thawed enough to pose for a picture.
The line about mid-way on the mountain is part of the railroad built in 1900 to provide supplies to the Yukon gold rushers more efficiently than the existing primitive trails.