Sunday, March 05, 2006

Cliches

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!