Monday, April 24, 2006

It's soggy out

Woke up this morning to more snow. I thought it was just as well because I was running behind and wasn't going to bike to work anyway, but the slush got its sweet revenge when it took me 10 minutes to back my car out the driveway. (When you drive a Geo in Alaska, it's all about patience.)

I thought more about yeserday's harassment incident. At the time, I was not really frightened. I just assumed they were bored idiots out for a joyride, who passed me once and thought it would be fun to go back and rile me up. It was enraging, sure, but I never felt in danger to the point where I actually would have pulled a can of bear mace on them (especially considering the high percentage of concealed weapon permits in this area.)However, it did think it strange that they were so old - they looked to be in their late-20s or early-30s, definitely old enough to know about the legal implications of terrorizing an unarmed cyclist. Also, as a strange coincidence, earlier that morning Geoff saw a white minivan with three people rumble down the driveway. He said the driver, a male, waved at him as he tried to turn the van around, apparently indicating that he mistook the driveway for a road. That happened at 11:30. About 40 minutes later, I was buzzed by a white minivan with three or more adults as it passed me 31 miles up the road. Coincidence? Or strange intersection of fate?

On a happier note, I received an e-mail the other day from Carlos, Alaska's own mountain-bike-race extraordinare, inviting me to participate in the Soggy Bottom 100. The Soggy Bottom is a 106-mile mountain bike race up an over the Resurrection Pass trail on July 22. "You have a sponsorship for the ride," he wrote, "so no moola is required." Can you believe it. Me? Sponsorship? A personal invitation to a race? How cool is that? I feel like I'm moving up in the world.

I think the Soggy Bottom is going to be a great ride, and will happen at a point in the summer when I hope to be at my strongest. It bills itself as the longest summer backcountry bicycle ride in Alaska (as opposed to winter, where the Iditarod Invitational has it beat by about 1,000 miles.) But the wheels are turning, plans are materializing, and it's definitely time to get my summer training started. Although, if it keeps snowing like it has, I may not actually get to practice riding on actual trails (the ones made out of rocks and roots and dirt) much before July. At least I have the local yokuls to keep me on my toes.

10 comments:

  1. Wow, sponsorship! Congrats!

    Hmmm...Pete, Tim -- maybe this time it's the grill and a pint??

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  2. Congrats on the invite and the sponsorship...sweet deal. I would think you've totally earned it by this point.

    On a weather related note - snow this morning sux, sux, sux, sux, sux. It's juts not right.

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  3. I'm jealous of your life, the surroundings are so beautiful even with an element of harshness (which can be invigorating anyway), except for the morons. Hopefully it's a phase they're going through as they pass through a late adolescence? But it must be more unnerving to run into morons up there. I mean in the continental US, we obviously have a far greater number of them, but with regular people everywhere around, you feel less intimidated.

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  4. OB, I know the Soggy Bottom course. We'll need two pints.

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  5. Oh, and Jill, this might not be much comfort to you unless you own one, but the psycho in the van no longer needs a concealed-carry permit. It's now legal to carry a concealed firearm in Alaska without a permit.

    I believe there's an exception for anyone with a felony conviction on his/her record, which would probably disqualify a significant portion of the Kenai Peninsula. Not that they would care.

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  6. That race sounds awesome! (notice that all you have to say to get me to like a race is 'mountain pass'). Give it some time. The summer I was in AK, it was actually pretty warm (70s) by June and July. I know most mountain peaks stay snow-covered, but down at the lower elevations, you should have some trails opening up later this month, I would think.

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  7. Glad it's you and not me up there, I can't handle the Northeast anymore. As for the race, I've read about it, so good luck and congrats on the invite, etc. I never really got any personal invites in my elite career, now I'm lucky if I get an invite to my friend's for a barbecue...

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  8. daveIT7:16 PM

    He invited me too, but that's jusy because he likes to see me in my lycra shorty-shorts. I know what you are up to Carlos! You PERV!!

    I'll bring some beer to ease the pain!

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  9. Two pints it is. But I hope these folks update their website more frequently.

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  10. daveIT10:04 PM

    From http://bjarneholm.com/2006bcarlos.html (part of the arcticbike.org)

    "I had to make a schedule change with the soggy to avoid a conflict with the TOA.

    The new date for the event is July 22 & 23

    Application due date : July 17th

    Pre-ride meeting : July 19th, 6PM, at Chain Reaction Cycles

    Link to web page: http://www.aksoggybottom100.com/

    Carlos Lozano"

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