Friday, September 28, 2007

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 comment:

  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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