Three ways

By beach ...

By trail ...

By road ...

Date: Sept. 27
Mileage: 45
September mileage: 475.6
Temperature upon departure: 49
Rainfall: .07"

Looking back, I should have known it was inevitable that I'd come back from the Grand Canyon and feel a little boxed in by my day-to-day life. How could you not? All of that vast and unknowable space really amplifies the smallness of the places I occupy. But I take back most of what I said yesterday. I still have a big world here to explore.

I headed out to North Douglas, again. However, today I took Pugsley and got off the road early. I really dig beach riding, but I seem to be hitting the tides at all the wrong times. Today was one of the highest high tides of the month, and I was skirting it right at its peak. I had to hop a bunch of big boulders, mash my way through fields of squishy seagrass and cross knee-deep streams up high, where they still gurgled and churned over big, slippery rocks. The little sand I saw was heavenly ... like being spit out from a washing machine rapid into a calm, clear eddy. Beach riding can be about as strenuous as cycling gets. At one point, I tried to skirt a waist-deep river channel by hoisting my 36-pound bike on one shoulder and sprinting parallel to it across a 45-degree slope of scree-like gravel. The frame of the bike felt like it was slicing into my shoulder bone as I slid down, and slid down, and struggled to keep my speed so I wouldn't slip into the rushing current. I don't remember the last time I had my heart rate so high. But it was fun to see my "routine route" in a new light. Away from the road and the houses, the island became a new place, with the salty sweet smell of rotting sea life and wide-open skies.

After I came home, Geoff and I did a quick mountain bike ride up the Perseverance Trail before he had to go to work. I pulled out my mountain bike for the task because Pugsley is a bit excessive for a well-maintained trail, even one that's rocky and technical at times. Geoff was riding his new 29er and outclimbed me on my baby wheels like I was standing still ... not that he couldn't do that on any bike.

After that, I had several errands to do and decided to run them commuter style, with a messenger bag and everything, on my road bike. I made a quick trip out to Thane to round out my three-bike day. The last cruise ship of the season has come and gone, and downtown Juneau was like a ghost town ... jewelry stores boarded up, T-shirt shops dark and quiet, not a soul on the sidewalk or, most notably, on the road. As much as I ranted against the tourists all summer long, I suddenly felt abandoned and lonely. Winter is truly here.

At least I have three bikes to keep me company.


  1. I'm glad you found new things to explore. If you go at different speeds, and off road (so you can vary your route more greatly), I bet that will help combat 'been here, done this' syndrome. New days, seasons and years should show variance, too.
    I understand your boredom, though. After a while I sometimes felt unexcited with the trails I always hiked in the Sandia Mountains, even though they are gorgeous. It can be difficult to push yourself to see new things, or old things in a different way.


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