Jordan Blackson: Year-round fat-bike commuter
By Tim Woody
Jordan Blackson became a bike commuter four years ago, and has been riding to work year-round ever since. In a typical week, he rides 60 miles round-trip from his home near North Russian Jack to his office at Raspberry Road and C Street.
“I mostly ride alone, but sometimes I can ride home with my co-workers,” Jordan said. “I sometimes ride to social events in the evening, or spend time riding singletrack on the weekend.
“I ride mostly for the exercise it provides, but also cycling is something I really enjoy no matter the weather or temperature. It has become a great stress reliever too.”
Jordan’s bike is a Fatback from Speedway Cycles, with a swept-back handlebar and bags from Revelate Designs that help him carry everything he needs. Using studded tires in winter and regular fat tires in the dry months, he describes his setup as, “Smooth and strong. It has been great to ride in all seasons.”
And he loves the benefits of bike commuting.
“Between the weight-loss and stress relieving qualities with biking to work,” he said. “Life is good!”
Like most two-wheel commuters, he finds that not everyone understands his commitment to riding instead of driving. “Some of them don’t understand,” he said of friends and co-workers. “But it helps when I explain the personal benefits and how happy it makes me.
“I’m lucky to have a job that does not require me to drive much. Without my wife being a stay-at-home mom for our two kids, I believe I would be commuting less. I am very grateful for this.”
The biggest obstacle to bike commuting is in your head, in Jordan’s opinion.
“Since 90 percent of commuting is mental, getting past that part is the hardest. Providing enough time to commute and having the correct gear really helps too.”
He would like to see more people enjoying the health benefits of riding a bike to work.
“I love Anchorage’s Big Wild Life, getting to see moose, bears, birds, or any other wildlife on a daily basis is a real treat. Just recently I got to watch two baby moose play next to their mom on the bike trail, they were both acting like little kids jumping and kicking, it was great!”
Four years after becoming a two-wheel convert, his advice to beginners is a simple, sound tip:
“That pain in your ass after riding on a bicycle seat for the first time will go away in a few days, just keep riding!”
This is part of a series titled I Bike Anchorage, a collection of stories about the city’s devoted bicycle commuters — riders who see bikes not as toys, but as a viable means of transportation for getting to work and school, shopping, and running errands. These profiles appear quarterly and are written by Tim Woody, a year-round bike commuter and author of a blog called Bicycles & Icicles. If you would like to nominate a profile subject, drop Tim an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell him a little about the person’s commuting habits and why he/she has an interesting story to tell.