Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Rain days are here to stay

I was hoping to hit another mountain top today or tomorrow, but the weather forecast is not looking good. It's true when they say Juneau only has two seasons ... Rainy and June. Now that June is over, I have a long season of tolerance-building ahead.

Today was a day for the gym, which I like to speak of disdainfully, but I really get a lot of benefit out of it. There's really no better way to train with weight resistance and build specific muscles that ideally will keep injury at bay. I plan to keep going at least once a week - if nothing else, to recoup some of that membership I bought during a panic attack back in April.

Rainy Season also is a good time for retail therapy. I turned to retail therapy back when I was injured and not cycling, and bought a lot of dumb stuff - like clipless pedals and short-sleeved bicycle jerseys. But my new string of purchases may prove to be a lot more rewarding. I recently received a check from the federal government that I wasn't expecting (who knew I was my own tax deduction?) This also will be my first year for the PFD check, the infamous "paid to exist" fund bestowed on every man, woman and child in the state of Alaska. A windfall of free money, and I have big plans ... including, but not limited to, a brand new bike building project!

Plans also include essential bike gear that has nothing to do with the bike, and everything to do with making it possible to ride my bike whenever and wherever I feel so inclined. My most immediate needs include neoprene socks (how oh how did I ever live without these?), a rear bike rack and a bivy sack. I'm torn on the bivy, and was wondering if there were some ultralight backpackers out there with good advice. Should I go with a warmer-but-heavier winter-specific sack, or the lightweight waterproof sack that would be tolerable where I live and terrible everywhere else?

If the forecast holds true, I'll probably spend way too much time surfing eBay for all the different options. Isn't it interesting how the act of not biking instigates a sudden and insatiable need to buy bike goodies? The wheels of the cycling economy must turn on working people whose income is inversely proportional to the time they have to ride. If all I did was ride my bike, I would probably just stick to my old and busted stuff and be happy all of my days.