Words and photos by Brian Ohlen, a.k.a. Spoke'n'Fly
Let’s be honest. We rarely get to take as many grand adventures as we like, those lasting weeks at a time to exotic locations. When surfing the Facespace, it’s easy to think everyone is doing awesome things all the time. True, there are a select few Insta-celebrities that seem to live on the road, going from one epic local to the next. For the rest of us though, workin’ for the weekend is the next closest thing. Since moving to Alaska, my wife and I no longer share the same work schedule, making it all the harder to get after it on the weekend. The solution? Work night overnights.
With this in mind, we joined a group of Anchorage riders to celebrate the Adventure Cycling Association's Bike Travel Weekend. The ride was put together by the lovely folks at the Northern Lights Bicycle Shop. Like me, many of the participants work at bike shops, and had to work over the weekend. Given 19 hours of sunlight, and a great campground just outside of town, a quicky bike trip was planned.
Riders of all sorts showed up, as well as bikes: department store jalopies, Baja Divide bikepacking machines, road tourers, and the obligatory out-of-season Alaskan fat bikes. Personally, I debuted the latest rendition of PinkBike, but that’s another story. The close proximity to town meant a leisurely cruise on bike paths to reach our destination, arriving well into what would normally be called ‘night’. Beer, food, bike riding shenanigans, s'mores, whiskey, etc.
Short overnight backpacks are nothing new, but often overlooked by many, including myself up until now. The more relaxed nature of this type of ride means you can throw it together on a weeknight, pedal with friends for an hour or two, and get back to work the next morning. Alternatively you could sleep until 9 and wake up in an empty campsite, wondering where everyone went.
Until the next big one, work night overnights will keep me sane.