Monday, November 28, 2005

Susitna dreams

Scenic drive back down the Peninsula today. A blanket of frost gave the trees a skeletal look and new snow oozed down evergreen branches like frosting; the air was as clear as a cold day and the sunrise sent steams of pink light down the whitewashed mountains. A rather rough freeze has transformed the Turnagain Arm into a boulderfield of ice. I looked out at the tortured seascape and instantly thought of Death Valley, a beautiful, rocky desolation born of heat, not ice.

We stopped at a bike shop in Anchorage and bought studded tires for our mountain bikes. And it looks like we'll have snowcover to practice on for a long time now. We returned home to nearly two feet of new powder on everything, as demonstrated by this photo - I call it "Geo Prison." We spent a better part of the clear and cold evening stamping through thigh-deep snow to find the snowshoe trail we've been working on.

Anyway, Geoff and I were so giddy at the prospect of extending the cycling season indefinitely that we picked up a brochure for the Susitna 100 and began planning our training regimen. We thought we were all bad because we even had thoughts of participating in a winter bike race that crosses snow-covered tundra during the deep freeze of subarctic night. But then we discovered the prohibitive entrance fee, regulating the races to those who have, well, a little bit more than blind gumption and gear. But (wink wink) if anyone out there - anyone at all - feels inspired to sponsor us in our efforts as virgin ice bikers tackling a decidedly hardcore bike race in the frozen north, we will proudly display your logo and our gratitude on this blog for as long as it takes. I'm not joking. Really. Why are you laughing?