Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Date: Jan. 2
Mileage: 28.3
January mileage: 28.3
Temperature upon departure: 40
iPod cycled through: "Reach for the Sun" by The Polyphonic Spree

The New Year is here and I am through mourning the snow. Inches and inches and inches of rain corroded all of the packed snow, seeped into the glare ice layer and finally stripped the road of all but loose gravel and wet pavement. So I wrestled Roadie out of the closet, brushed off a thick layer of October grit, pumped up the tires and tentatively limped across the street.

I did not want to ride like it was summer. I wanted to believe that streaks of ice threatened to yank my tires out from under me at any moment. I needed the fight and kick of snow to lift me out of the dripping gray monotony. But as the pedals spun almost effortlessly over hard pavement, I watched the odometer spin upward ... 16mph ... 17 mph ... 18mph.

I had been off the bike three days but it suddenly seemed like three months. We tore through needles of rain toward a strip of sunlight slicing through the clouds. I watched streaks of yellow light drift over distant glaciers and leaned into Roadie and our iceless, winterless road. I trained my muscles for reaction and endurance; they know nothing of speed. But Roadie knows nothing of winter, and the miles melted beneath us. And in the subtle transition of moments, iPod chose a good song.

..... "light and day is more than you'll say"
This hurricane pattern's got me down.
..... "cause all my feelings are more"
It's not just the biking.
..... "than I can let by ... or not"
Riding Roadie in January.
..... "more than you've got"
Getting soaked.
..... "just follow the day"
Motoring past 20 mph.
..... "follow the day and reach for the sun"

21 mph ...
..... "you don't see me fly into red"
What of the dead snow and sunless December?
..... "one more you're done"
The sting of sleet on cheeks and eyes.
..... "just follow the seasons and find the time"
Do you know what 70 mph winds taste like?
..... "reach for the bright side"
But I hardly remembered what 23 mph felt like.
..... "you don't see me fly into red"
I can't keep it up but I'll try.
..... "one more you're nuts"
Unending rain is a definite possibility.
....."just follow the day"
But that doesn't even matter, does it?
..... "follow the day and reach for the sun."


  1. Jill you certainly have my respect, when I think its too wet or cold to ride I need look no further than your blog to provide the kick in the pants to ride my bike.I think I could live in Alaska...during the summer :)

  2. Picture is very nice!

  3. Funny Jill, I dusted of my roadie today as well. It is amazing just to get the change in bike, much less the change in the riding conditions. Despite the drizzle, the fenders made me feel like I could be riding without any raingear at all! Variety is the spice of Juneau weather and biking. :)

  4. You take great pictures. Keep up the great blog.

  5. Your blog is an inspiration to me to continue riding in the winter.

  6. Sunday in Oregon I almost gave up on riding with my club, but remembered Jill up there in Alaska riding her heart out in nasty cold weather, and I knew I could handle a little something from the Pacific Northwest! I need some better gloves though, my fingers were numb. Yikes.

  7. Hi Jill, just wanted to stop by and wish you a happy new year! I know I'm a little late, but that's par for the course for me.

    Your blog is blowing up! It's big time. And now I can say, "I was there at the beginning"...

    There was a time, right? Keep on, keepin' on.


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