Monday, March 05, 2007

Lots of snow

The latest storm has dumped nearly two feet of snow on Juneau. The city closed all of the schools and gave non-essential government employees a paid day off ... which means none of the streets were plowed and all of the snow-day beneficiaries were funnelled onto nearby trails. I love days like this. I somehow ended up in front of snowshoer rush hour and punched a new path up the mountain. I walked up for one hour. It took me 35 minutes to walk down. I wandered off the main trail and postholed a few times up to my thighs - even wearing snowshoes. It was a real struggle to get out. The first time, I wrenched my bad knee beyond its point of sharp, blinding pain. After that, I just threw all of my body weight toward the direction of the trail (or my best guess of were it was) and swam out. I'm still not sure all of this snowshoeing is helping my physical situation. But I do think it's helping me maintain some kind of an aerobic base.

That other Iditarod race is going on right now ... the one with all of the puppies and the people on sleds. After spending the past week watching the progress of bikers and runners as they made their way over the Alaska Range, I'm amazed at the speeds in which those dogs can move. As a handful of ultrasporters continue on to McGrath and Nome, the Iditarod mushers are already passing them like they’re not even moving. Also out on the trail right now is Mike Curiak, a who is bicycling self-supported to Nome. Self-supported meaning he carries all of his gear. He buys nothing. He stashes nothing. He mail-drops nothing. He enters no buildings, sleeps in no cabins. And if a friendly musher offered him some smoked salmon on the trail, he would probably refuse it. There’s a rumor that he’s training for some 2008 expedition that will be even more remote and difficult. More remote and difficult than a 100-percent self-supported winter bicycle ride to Nome? I can’t even imagine where in the world that could possibly happen, but my money’s on a bicycle ride to the South Pole. Go, Mike, go.

Speaking of expeditions, there's a raffle going on right now to support Dave Nice's 2007 Great Divide Race bid. He had his bike stolen during last year's race, so this is bound to be his year. And you can help him! Visit Fat Cyclist's site for all the details.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow in my continued effort to figure out why I’m not riding. I’m hoping for a good diagnosis, expecting a vague and unhelpful diagnosis, and steeling myself for a bad diagnosis. If it turns out I’ve rendered my right knee unusable for an extended period of time, I’m already formulating a cycling plan. It involves a frame-mounted foot strap, a clipless pedal, and "quad of steel" workouts for the unipedal.