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?