Saturday, December 31, 2005

After dark

Date: Dec. 30
Mileage: 21.4
December mileage: 338.5
Temperature upon departure: 30

Today's ride was sponsored by Adam, and by Richard. Thank you! I left after work at 4:45 p.m. and did most of my ride in the dark - my longest night ride to date. It was a little surreal. When night strips the landscape bare, the shadows start to creep into your thoughts. I've had similar experiences hiking at night in the winter ... when there's only the dark and the silence, all of your senses are thrown into doubt. You wonder if you're colder than you feel. You wonder if the crunch of your tires on snow is as loud as it sounds. You know exactly where you are, and yet you can't help but wonder if you're lost - turned down another trail, slipped into another dimension, maybe. It was really interesting - never scary or dangerous. Just interesting. Night riding is definitely something I'm going to work harder to acclimate myself to before the Susitna 100. Plus, now I know exactly what I want in a bike headlight - which almost the perfect opposite of the one I have now.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to get up early (i.e. before the 10 a.m. sunrise) and pound out some miles before the New Year. Why? I don't know. Something to do, I guess. I probably should mix it up a bit and go cross country skiing - but the snow is so intermittently icy and slushy right now that if I was going to kill myself doing any winter sport, XC skiing in that stuff would probably be the way I'd go. Plus, I'm in training. It sounds so weird to say it.

I'm feeling bummed because Geoff just returned from New York but won't be able to come down from Anchorage until Sunday. Which means my New Year's Eve will probably go something like this: take as long a bicycle ride as I can stomach; down a couple of bowls of cold cereal for dinner; eat a cupcake shaped like a volcano at the Edible Arts Extravaganza; get my groove on with the hillbilly Anchorage band that I interviewed earlier this week; and go with Jen to the Masquerade Ball, where we will wear props left over from a middle school production of "Romeo and Juliet" and scream "Happy New Year" to no one in particular - at least no one we know.

Another holiday without the people I love. Oh well. At least there won't be another one for a while.