Date: Dec. 6
Today's mileage: 12.8
December mileage: 67.2
Top speed: 27 mph
Temperature upon departure: 36
Conditions were not ideal for cycling today. We've had about 70 inches of snow up on the ridge so far this season, and none of it has had much time to melt - until today. I've heard these warm spells hit, but they're rather disconcerting. A month goes by with below-freezing temperatures, and then, all of the sudden, one morning you walk outside and don't feel the urge to take off in a blind sprint for climate-controlled buildings. And all of your coworkers say it feels like springtime; meanwhile, you're up to your ankles in slush and wondering - "now how in the world am I going to bike through this?" It ain't easy, I've learned. The best parts of riding today: while pushing my bike up one particularly slush-covered hill, I slipped on a patch of ice and went knees-down into the muck, thereby learning that my bike gets better traction than I do; and, I enjoyed watching my headlight beam dance all over the place.
I didn't have any sponsors for today's ride. For people who may not read this blog much, my December theme basically centers around soliciting sponsors to help me pay the entry fee to the Susitna 100 - because, well, if you read my profile, you'll see I'm a journalist, and I still value food and shelter over cycling (I know, I know - I've got to rethink my priorities.) But today, I've compiled the top 10 reasons to donate a few bucks to my Susitna bid:
10. Because the Susitna 100 is just like the century ride you did last year - only it follows 100 miles of the infamous Iditarod trail deep into the subarctic Alaska wilderness, which just happens to be locked in the icy grip of winter still, and the bulk of the ice-covered course has to be ridden in the dark.
9. Because you're thankful you don't have to do it.
8. Because there are still six months and 24 days until the Tour de France.
7. Because your gift subscription to Bicycle expires this month, and you think you might like to read something that doesn't make you feel heartsick every time you turn a page to yet another streamlined carbon machine that costs more than your bike, car and CD collection put together.
6. Because you were always a little suspicious that those people who let dogs pull them along were cheating (no offense to dog mushers! I really do have a tremendous amount of respect for the sport.)
5. Because Syracuse football sucks this year.
4. Because your sponsoree (that's me) has never entered an organized race - anytime, for any reason. Therefore, her mettle has never been tested in a competitive situation. For all anyone knows, she just might win this thing.
3. Because your sponsoree's mettle has been tested - 3,200 mile cross-country bicycle tour; summitted high points in four mountainous states; hiked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim, twice; survived a sudden downpour in a slot canyon; and stayed awake during (an almost actually watched) an entire Star Wars trilogy marathon once - thereby earning the confidence that she can survive this thing.
2. Because your sponsoree is one of those crazy, wild, can't-give-up-cycling-for-five-months-so-she'll-just-have-to-deal-with-subfreezing-temperatures-and-two-feet-of-snow types.
1. Because your sponsoree is just like you.
You'll find a handy Paypal button in the sidebar of this blog. For the cost of a cup of (hopefully Starbucks) coffee, you can sponsor a poor cyclist like the one you see in this blog, giving her the hope of a brighter future, or at least a really wicked "I rode the Susitna 100" T-shirt, which she'll cherish for the rest of her life. Won't you click today?