Monday, March 06, 2006


Date: March 5
Mileage: 27.1
March mileage: 55.8
Temperature upon departure: 29
Listened to: "The Kids Aren't All Right" ~ The Offspring

Well, I finally broke down and bought an iPod. It's actually out of character for me to purchase a shiny, trendy little gadget (I may be the only person who grew up in the 90s and drives a car with a tape deck.) But I think it was the Susitna race that finally convinced me it wouldn't be a bad idea to own a decent MP3 player. Normally, I prefer to ride free, without the noisebox crowding out all the ambient sounds. But with Breakup approaching (that's these Alaska types term for Spring), I realized that I may soon want to start packing on road mileage. And since I live at the very southern end of a peninsula, there's pretty much only one direction I can go for any distance. I realized that the Sterling Highway northbound may start to get very boring if I don't blast a little Yellowcard now and again.

There was nothing really notable about today's ride, except for being outsmarted by a dog. I often ride out to Ohlson Mountain, which is 13.5 miles from my house. There's a mean dog at mile 13 that chases me every time, up a hill, and nips at my ankles as I try to outrun him. I always end up weaving and spinning out on the ice, nearly losing control until I can finally crest the hill and fly the last half mile to the end of the road. Then I have to turn back and face him again. Today, as always, he chased me on the incoming stretch. His teeth got so close to my leg that I was certain I was going to lose a chunk of my calf, so I kicked out and he backed off. As soon as I hit the turnaround, I pulled my waterbottle out of my coat and popped the top off, then began pedaling hard back up the hill. I was filled with road rage and I wanted to face that dog head on. The thought of soaking that snarly little snout with every precious ounce of water I had made me positively gleeful. Within another minute I was back in his territory, viciously clutching my weapon and scanning the road when I locked eyes with the brute. He was just sitting on top of a snow bank, panting, like the harmless mutt he pretends to be. And he just watched me go by - just sat there, having no idea how close he came to a rude awakening. Or ... did he?

Today was also different in that I sat through most of the How-Great-Are-We Awards for the first time in, well, ever. I love movies, but I've never cared enough about the Academy Awards to bother watching them (after all, that's what newspapers are for). Still, there's something about a big windy blizzard outside, homemade pizza, and John Stewart on the only station that comes in semi-clear that can really make sitting though all the self congratulations worth it. Go George Clooney!


  1. Actually, Jill, that big mean dog is probably just playing tag! However, his idea of tag is most other individuals(like rabbits) idea of being dinner!::GRIN:: I doubt he'll bite you, but one thing you might consider is a product called "HALT!". The USPS supplies mailmen with it to repel aggressive dogs. Just don't accidentally spray yourself with it! It's essentially pepper spray for dogs! As far as being out of step? I still have a working 8Track! ::GRIN:: and only replaced the 8Track in the van with a cassette player last year when it finally died beyond repair. After a while you develope a [perverse pride in being so far behind technologically speaking....and the 8track just sounded better than a cassette!

  2. DITTO! That Offspring track came around on three different rotations during my ride yesterday. And we had pizza too. I was only attacked by sproglets on big wheels, so I can't say ditto about the dog. Keep on riding.

  3. Yeah, you gotta avoid road rage with dogs. It's easier if you just think of them as part of the terrain. On the flipside, if you're riding clipless, you have a cleat to kick him with.

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  5. Eddie is a real SOB!

    - Kevin Costner in American Flyers

  6. (Ok, consider this coming from someone who has daughters your age) Careful using the ipod on your rides. As well as being entertaining, it can block out noises you might WANT to hear, like another dog (not your new friend) running up behind you, or a car moving behind you, etc etc. I used to wear mine when riding to work now and then. Even though much of the trek is on a bike path (paved with lines, not quite the Susitna)there were times when road bikes would come up behind me, and I couldn't hear them. In other words, having the earbuds in can be distracting and dangerous at times. BTW, theres an article in the news today about a jogger hit by a hit and run driver, who was identified via her ipod. I wonder if she didn't hear the car coming?

  7. The only reasons I watched the Oscars:
    John Stewart
    George Clooney

    All snugged in on the couch, eating mac n cheese.
    switching between self congratulations and TLC "Overhaulin"

  8. I can't comment on riding on roads with headphones, but maybe one ear in, rather than both.

    The argument of not being able to hear is good, but what about people in cars with rolled up windows and stereos, they can't hear either.

    I was never into riding with music, but my husband got me into it for our longer rides on our vacation up in Maine. I found techno was great for going up the hills where I thought I was going to die.

  9. I met a woman named Jill at Sea-Tac airport yesterday. She flew in from Anchorage. I'm pretty sure it's not you, however -- this Jill is an "environmental scientist." Still, she's a fascinating person with nifty stories about chasing bears around the mountains. I suspect most Alaskans are similarly fascinating.


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