I want Scott Christy, one of our faithful Montague folding bike riders, to be my mentor. He currently lives in Alaska with his wife and his two kids: his airplane and his Montague mountain bike. When he offered to send me some pictures of his plane and bike (now featured on our Facebook page and in this post), he said “I’ll send you some baby pictures.”
Scott flies an M-6 Maule, and he and his wife ride the Montague CX, which I actually have as well. The CX is a 21 speed comfort bike with 2″ semi-slick tires. It’s no longer available since the release of our 2010 line of bikes, but is comparable to the Swissbike X50, available now!
In a recent online interview with Scott, he revealed the secret of life by saying, “Note that I turn 65 years old this November and believe the three most important things for good health is exercise,exercise, exercise followed by eating the right foods.” Since he is my future mentor, I have been following his suggestions. I’ve been going to the gym before work and eating salad and tuna (not tuna salad) ever since. Really, I have!
Scott is extremely well traveled and loves the outdoors. He traveled to Alaska for a vacation and fell in love with the state. “Those of us who LOVE the wilds of Alaska always want to share the beauty of the ‘GreatLand’. That is what the Natives called it with a little adjustment for English,” he said when I told him how tempted I was to jump on a plane and move to Alaska after seeing his beautiful pictures.
I asked Scott when he moved to Alaska and what motivated him to do so. “Alaska seems so vast, wild, and arctic when compared to my Southern roots, so I had never even registered that people live there, much less love it. When I was in graduate school in Maryland my computer password was “ALASKA”. I was living for the day I could leave and go to Alaska. I had been up twice in summers (low budget trips – hitch hiked) and fell in love with the state the second day here (rainy over cast with mud – but wild & natural). I moved here without a job and not knowing anyone back in the summer of 1980.” His response only furthered my growing desire to don some snow pants and get out there.
Riding on the ice in Alaska would be a completely new experience for me. When I voiced some concerns about not only biking on the ice but landing a plane on it, he responded with an Alaskan motto:
“There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad equipment.”
Scott and his wife love traveling with their Montague bikes and make frequent long distance trips that allow them to make stops to see friends and family and ride the trails along the way. “My (#2) wife met me when I was flying so it wasn’t a shock. She likes our long cross country flying trips since we stop often, ride our Montague bikes, see friends, relatives, and visit natural parks, etc. We seek out Rails to Trails for long bike trips since we always try to avoid riding on busy roads.”
In March, he and some friends biked Rabbit Slough (pictured below). Scott organized the trip and flew in with his Montague to meet the group.
I guess this is where the “bad equipment” could have an affect. Scott wears super-duty hand and foot warmers and a special helmet to combat the cold. This is considered Spring riding, but Scott still had to land his Maule on the ice. To appeal to all of our pilot readers out there, he explained what it takes to land on the ice. Being from Tennessee, I have landed a plane in a cotton field, but ice is out of the question. I just figured it wasn’t possible or is at least very messy.
“My plane is on Aero Skis, but as you can see I didn’t need the skis for landing on the super smooth ice covered pond next to Rabbit Slough. When you land on smooth ice you have NO breaks, so you let the flaps slow you down. My Maule has flap settings from -7, 0, 24, 40, & 48 degrees. I used the 48 degree setting and let the plane come to a stop on its own.” (I apologize for the technical talk, but this is too cool not to include.)
Alaska seems to be ahead of the continental US in terms of caring for their “outdoorsy” tenants. “Anchorage has a very high ratio of outdoor equipment stores for the population size. Winter bike riding is increasing every year. Anchorage has special snow removal equipment keeping the bike paths clear all winter. A major snow event only takes them one to two days to catch up,” Scott explained. He boasts that Alaska is behind the curve of the rest of the nation in terms of technology growth, saying that people are happier and healthier because of it.
I look forward to our future correspondence, Scott, and can’t wait to hear about your and your wife’s future adventures!
Like visiting the seals….
We love to feature our riders on our Facebook, Twitter, and blog, so keep sending us your stories! How do you use your Montague bike? We learn so much from you not only about cycling, but about life and the cycling community. Keep it up, riders!