Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Just suck it up and ride

The last cruise ship of the season came to town today, and just like that, the whole of downtown's tourist district is shuttering up and moving out. And I wondered, am I ready for the ghost town? And I ready for winter in Juneau?

Gone too are the salmon, the swarms of splashing fish that piled up beneath the dock outside my office window. At least the fishermen still come, snagging the last spawned-out chums (and bless their tenacity). But they, too, will soon be gone.

And gone are my excuses for not riding my bike in the rain, though I've lined them up like soldiers to knock down every morning I wake up to a drench of gray. Yesterday, a record 2.7 inches fell in a typhoon of horizontal drops. It doesn't sound that impressive until I compare it to Salt Lake City's numbers - where 2.7 inches just happens to be the precipitation average for the months of July, August and September combined.

I wore those numbers like a badge as I suited up this morning to go riding, only to change my mind at the last minute and get in my car to drive to the gym. I let the drizzle hitting my windshield justify my decision, until I crossed the bridge and looked groggily out toward the season's last cruise ship. Behind it, where V-shaped mountains plunge into the channel, streams of sunlight tore through breaks in the clouds, peppering the gray water with splotches of turquoise. It was surreal and beautiful and fleeting in every way, especially when I pulled into the gym parking lot and slipped into the mundane world of fluorescent lights and daytime TV.

"You have chosen poorly."

I'm not saying it's not going to happen again ... and again and again. I enjoy going to the gym and I'm a sucker for instant access to a warm shower. But I will try to remember that the worst day on a bicycle is still better than ... well ... just about anything else.


  1. I agree with the weather issue. I had a bike ride scheduled for this morning. It was 38 degrees and of course very dark at 4:30 AM. So I gave in and rode my bike trainer in front of a television. The unavoidable long dark cold days of winter are not far off. However, the optomist in me is excited for tonight after work I have a roller ski workout scheduled and soon the great feeling of gliding on snow will be under my feet.

  2. Getting out the door is the hardest part. I will often get dressed and jump on my bike in the rain just to get going. No thinking. No planning. Just ride and get wet until you're too cold to ride any more.

    Winter in Juneau. If I didn't have a job and could afford the heat my wife would require it sounds great.

  3. some times you gotta just jump out ther like Chris is saying. Try not to *think it though*

    You miss so much in a car.

  4. I tried to ride my bike to work this summer.... and ended up "preparing to ride" for 3 months. Like everyone is saying, the mentality makes the difference. Just need to get up, walk out, get on the bike and just ride. No mental games beforehand.

    I like your blog!

  5. I rode year round in Fairbanks for ten years, and I've got some equipment (do I really need it down in Oz?) you might like. If nothing else, the Specialized Ground Control More Extreme Grey Matter 2.5 inch kevlar beaded tires make a great winter tire for the rear. I have 3 of them plus other goodies and winter tips.

    For the cost of postage, they are yours. If you'd also like a set of SnowCats hand built by Simon you can have them too. Again, postage cost is fine. The rear has a grey matter 2.5 inch (I'm not typing that again), and the front has a 2.5 inch Dart Soft Condition.

    Anywho, stop by


    if you are interested.

    BTW Get to Fairbanks for the best winter cycling anywhere!

    Oh, I had some great winter cycling apparel, but I did give that away before moving here since I didn't think I'd be riding for an hour at -58 down here. Even though I don't have the full winter clothing setup I can give you great tips on staying warm while keeping you and your bike at a fairly light weight.

    cheers from Oz,



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