Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Rain delay

Date: Dec. 4
Total mileage: 22.0
November mileage: 22.0
Temperature upon departure: 34

Today a warm front settled in, bringing with it the snowpack-decimating rain that drips like acid from an electric blue-gray sky.

It was a sad state for a ride, but I still felt happy to get out. It was a shower of slush and enough ingested road salt to replace any electrolyte drink, but my legs felt strong and my lungs were happy to be back in the humid, sea-level atmosphere again.

I took the above picture yesterday while Geoff and I were skiing along the campground trails. I am getting better on skis. I don't really hate skiing. In fact, it is kind of fun in a simultaneously relaxing and frustrating way. And I stopped to visit my first Juneau home, camp site No. 5:

And as bad as those first two weeks were, I have to say, I'm lucky I moved to Juneau in August and not December.

I am giving myself until Friday to make a definite and binding decision on the Susitna 100. There are a lot of people who can't imagine spending $700 for a race, but I'm not exactly spending all that money on a race. I'm spending it on an experience, much in the way some people buy time on cruises or helicopter ski tours. There are definitely sillier things I could spend that much money on. An LCD TV comes to mind.

Carl Hutch (a race veteran himself) suggested I take it a step further at enter the Iditarod Invitational. This 350-mile winter race is a big dream of mine. There are some ways in which I eat, sleep and dream the ghost trail to McGrath ... but ... it may be a little more than I can bear ... this year. Who knows? I have been known to take bigger, crazier leaps of faith. But there's still a part of me that hasn't quite conquered the Susitna 100.

Tim answered my question best when I pondered what Pete - inarguably the best endurance rider in Alaska - might do if faced with a similar choice:

"Pete would jump on the ferry to Haines, then ride his bike all the way to the start. And he'd still kick everybody's ass. Pete's a mutant."

I wish I were a mutant. But I'm not. I'm just a 27-year-old masochist with a desk job, a brand new snow bike, and a strange taste in vacations. Maybe I can offset the cost of said vacation by designing and selling T-shirts. I already have the sketch in mind. I drew it while killing time near a giant dead polar bear at the Anchorage airport. It could work. Stranger things have happened.


  1. Just do it:)

    In reading your words I think you have already come to that, and now are leading us on a bit:)

    Stay warm and dry. Its 8 degrees here in Wisco this morn and have a nite ride planned tonite!

    On the shores of Lake Michigan no less!

  2. there's always trans iowa v.3 in april. 320 or so miles of gravel grinding goodness.....

    the weather will be different than it is up there.... april in iowa. hmmmm.....

    peace out, yo!

  3. but we never forget our "campground #5 homes do we? They are often the best and worst of our days.

  4. It is just money, do it. me i'll be on my trainer in sugarhouse or riding in St. George or Vegas, so do it, for those of us who wouldn't :)

  5. I think if you don't do the Susitna this year, you'll have regrets! Go for it, Jill and plan on the Iditarod for newxt year! We only have one go around! Live yours to it fulest. At your deathbed, you will likely be able to say you ran your life right to the edge and that'
    s the only way as far as I am concerned!

  6. I 2nd the TI3 for 700 you could get you and your down for it it...

    No cost just some post cards and stamps... who know could even be snow =)

  7. Do it, Do it, Do it!!!!!

    I say this though, while looking out my window at snow thinking "I would never do it!" :-)


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