October 5, 2014

Making Strides.

October is Breast Cancer awareness month and Making Strides for Breast Cancer is the largest network of breast cancer awareness events in the United States. Ever since my grandma Carol was diagnosed with breast cancer many years ago, I have been passionate about this cause. Fortunately, she and many other women I know have successfully beat this disease. However, many of us know women who have not been as successful, which makes it even more important to me to support efforts that raise awareness about the importance of screenings and raise money for funding research to improve diagnosis and outcomes.

Some coworkers and I chose to participate in The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk and had a bake sale at work to help raise money for the event. 

There are a number of risk factors that can increase the chance of developing breast cancer and one of those factors is smoking. Although a few studies suggest that there is no link between breast cancer and smoking, many studies have found that the risk is high for women who  started smoking at a young age. An active focus of research now is weather secondhand smoke increases the risk of breast  cancer. 

A look at Cook Inlet...

There was plenty of pink at the event and were approximately 1,000 people who participated in the walk, including friends and family members of those who have battled breast cancer and survivors themselves.

The morning was quite chilly, but we had fun anyway. The walk was a 5K that looped through downtown Anchorage and onto the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.

Even the firefighters decked out a fire truck in pink to support the cause...

Cheers to October and raising awareness for Breast Cancer. I hope you had a great weekend!

September 29, 2014

Mountain biking at Kincaid Park.

Fall is beautiful in Anchorage. Because the season is so short, it's important to take advantage of as many nice days as possible. Matt had the weekend off, so we headed to Kincaid Park, which lies on the western side of Anchorage, for some mountain bike riding...both Saturday and Sunday. :-) The temperature was about 50 degrees, which was perfect for riding. 

Kincaid Park, along with Hillside Park, which is on the southeast side of Anchorage, has more than 20 miles of single track trails, which have all been developed over the past three years. The Alaska Dispatch News, Alaska's leading newspaper, wrote an article about the singletrack trails that are becoming quite popular among mountain bikers in Anchorage. 

We rode a trail called Bowling Alley and a loop called Toilet Bowl on Saturday and then rode Middle Earth, Mighty Bike and Tower Power on Sunday. Middle Earth is a new 7 mile trail at Kincaid Park that had spectacular views of the Cook Inlet. These routes were obviously named with some intense thought... 

According to the Alaska Dispatch, the International Mountain Biking Association offers a five-level trail rating system ranging from easy (maximum grade of 10 percent and no natural obstacles) to the extremely difficult double black diamond (20 percent grade with unavoidable obstacles and no more than 6 inches wide in places). IMBA officials were in Anchorage in early June to inspect the Kincaid trails. Singletrack Advocates considers all of the Kincaid trails -- except for new one-way sections -- to be intermediate, and the IMBA agreed, classifying the one-way trails as black diamond or expert level.

Most of the trials are one way, which conveniently prevents collisions with other bikers...

We ended up riding about six miles of the singletrack trails on Saturday and rode for about three hours on Sunday...time flies when you're having fun!! 

Just as our ride ended on Saturday, we came across some familiar company...Moose!!!

After our ride on Sunday, we headed to Tastee Feez (my first visit ever) for a snack. For the record, this is the northern most Tastee Freez in the world. 

We had a great time getting outside together and enjoying the weather.

I hope you had a great weekend!