Thursday, March 23, 2006

Slogging blogger

Date: March 22
Mileage: 15.4
March mileage: 215.9
Temperature upon departure: 33

It's light enough to ride now until 8 p.m. 8 p.m.! The sunlight has turned everything into a slushy, soggy mess. Since I usually ride in the evenings, I get the worst of it. Today I felt up to a short ride, but had a hard time coaxing myself outside because:
1. I still have a cough.
2. The trails were too soft.
3. The roads were a mess.
4. My new fenders haven't arrived in the mail yet.

But I still went out. Coasting downhill was a bit like being sandblasted with wet chunks of mud ("The goggles! They do nothing!"). Riding uphill I learned that snow is in fact not the slowest surface for two wheels. That distinction belongs to a dirt road that is still frozen up to the top inch or so, leaving only the thinnest layer of mud to soak up massive quantities of melted snow.

I think I'm going to try to ride more in the morning, when everything is still nicely iced up. That, or I'll incorporate a plastic garbage bag into my cycling attire. Yes, Tim was right. There is no spring joy for the cyclist in Alaska, save its choppy but inevitable march into summer.

But what of summer? I hear the annual daylight explosion inevitably sends sun-starved Alaskans into a manic pursuit of recreation that leaves them exhausted by fall. Just today, I was looking at the sunrise/sunset calendar and realizing that come June, I could work an eight-hour day, clock out at 5 p.m., ride a leisurely century, throw a halibut barbecue, bake a blueberry pie and still have enough daylight for a game of Baci Ball before bed. What good can come of that?


  1. Hmm, Alaska doesn't seem so bad as I thought. Actually, it looks great! However, are there any serious hills or mountains up there? In case I'd ever migrate to Alaska, I should have a substitute for my annually Alpe d'Huez climb. And of course my "wintery" snowboard holiday...

  2. Just think what it's like up around Deadhorse or other settlements up above the circle! 24 hr daylight coming soon to a town above the Arctic Cricle near you!

  3. Hummm

    Too much light for me I'd get in trubble for sure. Sure would make for a ez 24hr race. Your pics are awsome. One of thease days I am gonna have to see if I can race in that cold =)

  4. What a wonderful place, After viewing your blog and pics I will NEVER complain about the measly snowfall we get in Iowa. don't let em chew up ANWR :)

  5. Thanks for reading my blog. You consider 40 warm?!? That is weather for winter coats and fires in the fireplace here! Of course that could be because our average daily temp is 74 right now.

  6. Roberto- Are there any serious climbs in AK? I've never seen so many mountains in so small an area in my life (and I've lived by the Rockies since I was born). There's probably more mt biking than there is road biking, though. And I'm sure the pothole population is thriving right now.

    Jill- Midnight basketball was one of my fav things to do in AK. It's weird, even when the sun does set in the summer, it doesn't really set (as I'm sure you know). There's just this green glow in the sky until 3 or 4 a.m. when it rises again. Drove me nuts after a while. I like it dark when I get up in the morning.

  7. Wow talk about an endless summer during the summer.

  8. Barbecue, blueberry and baci ball?? Jiminy-Jilickers Jill!!!


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