Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Night rider

Date: Dec. 12
Today's mileage: 6
December mileage: 163.3
Temperature upon departure: 19

Monday's my long day at work. Dec. 12 is a rather short day in the year. But that doesn't mean we can't get out for an evening jaunt on the ski trails (shh ... don't tell the Nordic skiers. They don't like us using their trails. But I figure - what they can't see can't hurt them.) Snow conditions were ideal today, but I am still working on developing my trail-riding technique. Navigating deep ruts covered over by soft powder takes a fair amount of concentration any time, but it's definitely tougher in the dark. Of course, I gotta learn it - just like I need to learn to change a tire with mittens on (but I'll save that frustration for another day.)

Today's ride felt pretty technical, especially during climbs. For that, I feel lucky to hail from the desert. Riding in snow is in many ways similar to riding in sand - a lot of swerving and correcting, grinding without earning much distance and using lower RPMs/higher gears to get through the tough stuff. I lowered my tire pressure to 20 PSI. I may try it lower next time. Also, I think I may start looking for a "snow bike." I feel sort of bad putting all of this abuse on my Sugar when most of its amenities aren't even needed, and some (such as full suspension) are actually detrimental. I'm hoping some local resident will put an old Cannondale mountain bike in the classifieds - one of those classic workhorses built in the '80s with no suspension and room to spare for some huge tires. Who knows - it could happen.

Geoff commented today that he no longer feels the urge to whittle away the winter months while we wait for the backpacking, camping, canoeing, 11:30 p.m. sunset bike-ride summer days that we moved here for. For a few months, he has been mulling whether or not to apply for one of those winter fishing boat jobs - the kind that steal months from you at a time but send you home with fat pockets. However, today he said he didn't think he could face the grind, knowing now all of the fun recreation he'd be missing back home. It's one thing to say that in the summer - but the winter? I think we've arrived.


  1. Having a winter bike--something that you don't have to feel bad about ruining with rust & corrosion--is really nice. Use whatever old stuff you already have, or look for cheap frames & components on ebay (or whatever local resources you have). Now that you have some experience riding in winter conditions, you likely have a good idea on what you want.

    I've been debating a second job myself...but it's so hard with all this nice winter weather! I find it easier to stay late at work on hot days in summer because I don't have air conditioning at home.

  2. oh hell yeah.

    ... now you can really decorate.


  3. Do people in Alaska want to drill in ANWR?

  4. fabulous photographs Jill.



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