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Posts Tagged ‘O’Connell Bridge’

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Tour de Sitka riders meet at Sea Mart on Sunday, June 12, before riding to the end of each road in Sitka (Photos by Bill Foster)

IMG_0675Even though the City and Borough of Sitka has an area larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined, there aren’t that many long roads in Sitka, about 15 miles from the end of Halibut Point Road to the end of Sawmill Creek Road, and a few roads radiating out from there.

But every year a group of Sitka cyclists gets together for an informal Tour de Sitka, where they meet at Sea Mart, then ride to the end of the road at Starrigavan Recreation Area on Halibut Point Road for a photo, ride to the end of Sawmill Creek Road, then ride over the O’Connell Bridge to have a meal at the Nugget at the Rocky Gutierrez Airport on Japonski Island. This year’s Umpteenth Tour de Sitka took place on Sunday, June 12.

IMG_0676The event was first organized by former Sitka school teachers John and Cheryl Hedden, who have since moved, as an excuse to cruise Sitka’s road system by bicycle and afterwards have a hearty brunch at one of Sitka’s restaurants. The event tends to be impromptu, with limited media coverage.

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SUNNY SUNDAY SITKA CYCLING: The e-mail announcement said “We go rain or shine, unless it’s a super gully-whumper,” but it turned out to be a nice day for a bike ride around Sitka on Sunday, June 3, when about a dozen cyclists gathered for an informal Tour de Sitka. The group met at the Sea Mart grocery store at 10 a.m. and rode out to the end of Halibut Point Road, where they stopped for a group picture. The then rode back into town and over the O’Connell Bridge to Japonski Island, where they grabbed brunch at the Nugget Restaurant in the Rocky Gutierrez Airport. Then it was back to Sea Mart, unless individual riders wanted to have the option of riding out to the end of Sawmill Creek Road first. The Tour de Sitka is a tradition started several years ago by Sitka teachers John and Cheryl Hedden, who since have retired and moved south. According to Jeff Budd, 12 riders participated this year, including one person on a single-speed cruiser and two high school students. He said the ride without the Sawmill Creek Road leg was about 14 miles, and it was a “fun group.” (Photo courtesy of Corrie Bosman)

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Alexei Desatoff, a physical therapist at the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC), rides his bike toward the O’Connell Bridge and home after completing his shift on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011.

Even though Sitka received nearly 36 inches of snow at the end of November, people were still riding their bikes. If you do plan to ride in the winter, please wear bright, reflective clothes and have a strong white headlight and blinking red taillight. Also, many people find studded mountain bike tires work well on Sitka’s icy roads.

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