You're a bike messenger in Anchorage, what's it like?
I get asked that a lot. My answer. "It's pretty much like being a bike messenger anywhere else, only smaller and on ice." Let's brake that down. It's pretty much like being a bike messenger anywhere else. You do the same kind of things bike messengers do in any city. You don't do them as often or for quite as long. In summer Anchorage is an almost easy town to work in. The things keeping it from being too easy are the hordes of tourists and the buses that dump them downtown and our drivers. We get plenty of just plain bad drivers, we get mean and nasty drivers, mind numbingly stupid drivers of all kinds. The most universal traits are a complete lack of regard for others and an amazing ability to shove their heads up their asses when confronted by anything unusual. It rains, snows or gets particularly sunny can be enough to make Mr. Head dive straight up Mr. Ass. Smaller With a population around 280,000 it's not that big a place but it is kind of spread out. I cover primarily Downtown and Mid-town. The Downtown core is fairly small and mid-town is your basic strip-mall suburban sprawl peppered with office buildings of various sizes. On ice. From about late October till mid April you get ice on the roads to some degree or another and road maintenance well, sucks. So, that ice might be on the lumpy side. You run two different bikes in winter. One for most of the time with skinny tire for speed and one with wider tires for partly compressed snow and ice, both bikes have studded tires. It's all about compromise because which ever bike you pick, at some point during your day it's going to be the wrong bike. You'll either be miserable dragging to many studs on large stretches of pavement or white knuckling it on nasty slick lumpy ice wishing you had more studs.
Feel the pavement when you bounce from it, hear the engine of a car roaring behind you, answer the static coming from your two-way, embrace the corner of the box that craves your spine while you´re carrying it in your bag, taste the cold and yet sweet taste of beer when it sparkles in your mouth.