Saturday, March 31, 2007

My 14-mile month

I feel like I'm going to be riding my bike again soon. I can't say why I feel so confident about it, especially since I have yet to obtain a proper opinion on the matter. But it just feels intuitive. It's like that time I hobbled around with undiagnosable muscle injury for a month (blood clots, probably.) One day, all of the tension just drained out. I didn't know it was over at the time, but I could feel it happening. It's more likely this time around that I've traded denial for self pity for clingy optimism. But who knows? I've been reserving strong judgement or reckless experiments for my PT appointment on April 2. And after that? I think I saw a horoscope somewhere that said April's the month to begin anew.

Today was a nice day, the first in a while, but I wasn't really able to capture any interesting pictures. The top picture was actually an attempt to photograph a bald eagle perched on a branch. But Juneau raptors are much more wily than the pet eagles in Homer. They generally move out of the way far too fast. So the eagle is long gone. What I do have is a photo of enough green to prove that I don't live in a black-and-white world. The massive snowpack is receding, however slowly.

I went out for a walk today wearing only my rain pants, a T-shirt and a hat. It was warm ... relatively ... it was 38 degrees. But the reflection of sun off the snow adds at least 40 degrees to the air temperature. I could have done that walk in a swim suit. I mostly just wore the hat because I have been swimming a lot lately, so any unrestrained hair flies around like the follicles on a person hugging the static electricity ball at the planetarium. The landscape was so bright white that I could not stop squinting. Couldn't make myself open my eyes. So I took a photo to illustrate the walk. Yet another self portrait. Yawn. Sorry.

Geoff and I spent the afternoon skiing at Eaglecrest. Well ... not exactly. Geoff spent the afternoon cross-country skiing. I did one lap and decided the snow was entirely too fast and scary, the possibility of further injury far too high, and the attraction of late-afternoon laziness too difficult to resist. So I plopped down at the top of a 15-foot snow berm and read a New Yorker magazine. For about 40 minutes. Just reclining in my self-molded easy chair, soaking up sunlight on my pasty Alaskan skin and deep-freezing my butt.

On the way home, Geoff's Civic rolled over to 300,000 miles. I decided to document the occasion. Unfortunately, the only photo that didn't come out irreparably blurry reads 299,999.9.

It's funny to be proud about the mileage achievement of a car. If anything, I should be ashamed to admit on my bicycle blog that I have been near a car that has actually been driven 300,000 miles while commuter bicycles everywhere gather rust. But there you have it. This car has been everywhere. It has more good stories over the course of its lifetime than some people do, and there should be no shame in owning a good car. Well, except for that whole global warming thing.
Tomorrow is supposed to be 39 and sunny. How will I stay off my bike?


  1. i hope my 92' civic lasts long enough to rollover 300k, currently it's only at 168k.

  2. As to the 14 mile month? It's called recovery from an injury, Kiddo! ;)

  3. I just bought a Mazda PU with over 300k on it for a commuter rig, ugly as hell but it shows no signs of quitting anytime soon, gotta love it!
    In ’94 I broke my back and was told I may never walk right again – 10 months later I was standing on the deck of a fishing boat in Prince William Sound. I did it by sitting on my butt and being lethargic when I was told to, I hope you can do the same. You are out there putting on so many miles while the rest of us are indoors hiding from the elements, how you going to feel if you are stuck indoors when it does get real nice? You will be glad you did someday, trust me.
    I have 8 miles for the month, last year I had well over a hundred so your not alone Jill, this too shall pass ;)

  4. The first PT appointment will be here and gone before you know it and then, hopefully, you'll feel like you know where you're headed and what you'll be able to accomplish in April, May and beyond.

  5. I've needed PT a few times. It's amazing what can be done with a little stretchy piece of band or tiny weights. I think you're getting see big improvements from it. Just don't over do it!

  6. Hey Jill,

    Your Blog is awesome. Have you ever thought of running cycling groups? I run my own independent travel agency in Toronto and I specialize in retreats and unique vacations. How cool would it be to send out a cycling group to Alaska. If you have any interest contact me at


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