Sunday, April 30, 2006

Hill day

Date: April 30
Mileage: 75
April mileage: 568
Temperature upon departure: 40

Had a strange moment of de-ja-vu that inadvertently lead to yet another roadie crash.

Ok, Ok, the truth is, I'm just a sadly predictable klutz. But the timing was interesting nonetheless.

Today was a "hill day" - three big climbs with elevation changes between 1,000 and 1,500 feet in 2-5 miles, buffered by plenty of rollers. I spent most of the day listening to new music that I downloaded on my iPod yesterday. As I crested to highest point of the day - elev. 1,500 feet - the music switched over to a song I had heard only once before, a song implanted in such a surreal region of my memory that up until today I thought it was a dream. Turns out it's "DARE" by the Gorillaz.

Before I even registered the music, the memory came flooding back - midnight programming on the one radio station I could pick up on my little AM/FM, droning with Top 40 pop broken by frequent, jarring static. I was pedaling my mountain bike across Flathorn Lake during the Susitna 100. I had lost the trail the moment I hit the maze of snowmobile tracks steaking across the ice, but I was following a distant light that I knew had to be the next checkpoint. Its yellow glow flickered in the deep ink darkness, broken by its own static as drizzling rain slowly turned to snow. I got off my bike to negotiate patches of soft snow when I stepped directly into a shin-deep puddle of overflow. The change in terrain startled me so much that I lost my footing and, in catching myself, shoved my bike onto its side in the slush. I remember just standing there, looking at the fallen bike and listening to radio static. Then, just as I moved to pick the bike up, an eerie voice began to climb out of the hole. It started almost indistinguishable from the white noise, but began to gain almost disconcerting clarity against the darkness and snow ... "Jump with the moon and move it; Jump back and forth. It feels like you would let yourself work it out."

Today, the same surreal notes came on my iPod just as I was rounding a corner to begin my descent back to sea level. I hit a patch of loose gravel, swerved out of control, and ended up laying my bike down after I had slowed to about 8 or 10 mph. I sat up on the pavement and rocked back and forth as I waited for the blind streaks of pain to stop shooting through my left hip. "Wait," I thought ... "I know this song."

" ... It's DARE ..."

I think it's time admit that I have a road bike coordination problem. But, for now, I'm blaming involuntary flashbacks. Or self-fulfilling prophecy. Either way, roadie, again, came out impressively unscathed.

Tomorrow is May 1, which means it's no longer legal for me to ride - or drive - around with studded tires. I have to get my car changed first. Geoff and I spent a half hour excavating my summer tires from a snowbank. It was like looking for buried treasure, digging through six feet of condensed snow, hitting small trees, logs, and finally ... yeah! tires.

I'm going to wait another couple of weeks to change over my mountain bike tires. I'm still holding out for another day of perfect concrete snow.

Oh yeah ... don't forget to vote Buckwheat for President.


  1. Jill, thanks for the link and the donation.

    Buckwheat for president. Vote early, vote often.


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