Thursday, December 20, 2007

Another great day for a ride

Date: Dec. 19
Mileage: 10.3
Hours: 2:00
December mileage: 439.3
Temperature upon departure: 16
Snowfall: 0"

I was supposed to go to the gym this morning. I've had a hard time getting in my twice-weekly weight lifting as it is, and I told myself I wasn't going to neglect it any longer. But when I woke up this morning to the blaze of blue sky and hints of sun on the horizon for the first time in, well, it seems like weeks - I had to get out. I decided I would go for a hike. And as long as I'm hiking, I might as well take my bike for a walk.

So it was another day of walk-up, ride-down, just like the handful of skiers I passed. Several inches of new snow and powder-stirring snowmobile use put the trail in considerably worse condition than yesterday. It was hard to gain any traction, uphill or down, and there was lots of fishtailing and lots of meetings with snowmobiles. Everyone was out enjoying the sun. Still, it was worth it just for the views. And it was worth it the hints of sun. Although the canyon spent the duration of my ride in shadow, I could at least vicariously enjoy the orange light streaked across the mountain ridges.

I am preparing right now for my weekly long ride tomorrow. I am going to shoot for nine hours, spending a lot of time on trails. It will give me more opportunity to play with my tire pressure in the cold, which I remembered today is not exactly easy. The uneven nature of trail riding also mimics Iditarod conditions much better than an intense road ride can ... but don't expect big mileage tomorrow. Temperatures should be in the teens to low-20s, and if I'm lucky, at least partly sunny with scattered snow showers. I am going to try to do it sans-Camelbak because I am still having big issues with leaking, even after I replaced the nozzle. Wish me luck!


  1. My friends Jesse and Justin told me that they bumped into a girl riding a bike with really huge tires on Dan Moeller Trail today, and I said, "I know who that is!..."

  2. Hello, Jill! I've discovered your blog a few hours ago and am sort of mesmerized by what you're doing and have done!! It's a very happy and well-timed finding for me, as I'm considering giving a go at ultra endurance cycling...but nothing to compare with what you're tackling. Your determination is a lesson in itself, as well as the healthy pleasure you're deriving from your practice, which to me sounds as unimaginable!
    Hoping that you've had all the luck you deserve during your 9-hour ride,

  3. So you are just going to plan on dehydration then?

    You must have gone to my training camp.

  4. Jill--I am inspired. I know "Fat is the new skinny" but I'm still using my summer mountain bike here in ANC. I did change out to the Nokian studs--and that's sufficient for the trails here in Los Anchorage. But I have to learn to keep my camera warm so the batteries are good for pictures at -4F! I've seen some of your wide-ride bikes here on the trails--and they maintain they can pass an ice skater on the lake. Hmph. I like the studs, myself. Keep pedaling...I'll be looking for your posts when you're here in Anchorage. I've got friends on the trail at Winterlake Lodge.
    -Scott in Anchorage

  5. DUDE! You SO rock! Good luck with your 9 hour, Girl! No's in the bag! Enjoy the warm temperatures down south! LOL!

  6. Yeah, we all want details on your sans-Camelbak sub-freezing hydration strategy. I've used botas under my jacket, one slung under each arm Pancho Villa style and it works pretty good but I have to dig them out to drink.

    Keep on Puggin'


  7. Your temp's sound cozy compared to what southcentral has been.
    Good luck with your biking and Merry Christmas, Jill... tomorrow is the 21st! :-D


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