Sunday, August 13, 2006

Liquid sun

Date: August 13
Mileage: 14.2
August mileage: 156.5
Temperature upon departure: 53

One way in which I am woefully unprepared for this move to southeast Alaska - besides, I mean, not having a home - is my complete lack of rain gear. During the winter I acquired good cold weather gear, but a parka and layers of polar fleece do little to keep out the chill when they're dripping from every square inch. The best things I own are neoprene gloves and booties, so - yeah - my hands and feet are semi-warm. I still have to head somewhere indoors after about 40 minutes because I am fr...fr...freezing.

Riding when it's -5 out is one thing, but cutting through the thick, soggy wind of 50 degrees and raining is a whole different kind of chill. While below-zero burns skin and bites ragged lungs, this Juneau August chill seeps into my core, saturating every cell with a deep and heavy cold until it has drowned all hope of ever being warm again. The instant fix for this is a hot shower, but the longterm reality is that I need some better gear. I have yet to check out the retail options in town, but I imagine such gear is not hard to find here.

I have yet to really do a long, hard ride here, but not for lack of time. It's funny, because I have so much to do, but can't really start any of it until I can set up a permanent household. So I spend too much time sleeping, reading, agonizing over the classifieds, and lingering in hot showers. I feel like more biking would lift my spirits and help jump-start my "settling" process, but it's so hard to find the motivation when I have a trunk full of wet bike clothes and an jittery energy reserve fueled by little more than anxiety, a small measure of desperation, and Goldfish. I've been subsisting on comfort food - which, in my case, consists mostly of processed carbohydrates that a 3-year-old would find appealing, make-your-own salad bars and sushi. Since I'm not currently spending any money on rent, why not?

6 comments:

  1. Jill - You should try to get on the Patagonia Pro Deal program. Seems like with your outdoor journalism work, you could get in as a journalist. Good savings on gear for sure.

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  2. One other thing - On our NOLS course in Prince William Sound it rained for a week and a half straight. One trick for getting clothes dry when camping - put them in the sleeping bag with you..your body will dry them out. Riding gear for the rain is tough - I find those plastic cheap jackets work best, and that anything with a coating fabric simply doesn't last. For just hanging out, that cheap but thick rubber Helly Hanson stuff the fishemen wear is the bomb. That and an umbrella.

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  3. oh dear, sounds like kodiak. get ahold of heather lende in haines. she knows people in juneau and could help you find a place for you and your cat.

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  4. Raingear....Hmmm, Wally World is selling Stearns on closeout, not real expensive, but a quick and dirty fix for lack of raingear!

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  5. Check out http://www.ultracycling.com/equipment/ridinginrain.html.

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  6. fishtaxi sounds as though she has the right idea! make the call. :) good luck on finding a permanent abode!

    peace out, yo!

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