Good news!

I just spoke with a truck driver in Anchorage who told me he had my bicycle and was five minutes from Speedway Cycles, the bike shop that was going to give Pugsley a "cold-weather" lube and tuneup. I don't think I'll feel completely at ease until I have the bike in my hands, but knowing it has been found and is on its way to its destination is a big weight off my head.

I want to thank everyone who made some noise and helped mobilize FedEx in my plight. My status as just another person in a crush of delayed packages didn't entitle me to any special treatment, but I really think the response to my desperate situation convinced the company to take some action, and almost definitely made the difference between my package arriving today instead of sometime next week. So thanks to Angela at NPR, my bull-dog mother who spent more than an hour on the phone with a range of different people, my dad who wrote e-mails to the higher ups, and anyone else who weighed in. Also, I wanted to thank Manny in Anchorage and others who commented and offered to help me find alternatives. Understanding I still had options was hugely pacifying when I still felt like I was facing a big unknown.

Also, I forgot the link to this when I was one-track-minding through my Pugsley dilemma, but Jared Eborn with the Deseret News wrote a great piece for my hometown paper in Utah. You can read it here.

Also, my final pre-race interview with NPR, which is mostly devoted to talking about my missing bike. It, too, has a happy ending.


  1. Yeah! Pugs is found!! Good Luck to you.

  2. Big "PHEW!" from over here!

  3. I'm so glad Pugsley has been found. I've been following your blog for quite some time and find what you are doing to be absolutely amazing. Best of luck in your "race" and I hope that you make it safely to the end. I'm sure you will give it your best and even if you don't finish, you will enjoy the challenges it brings.

  4. Anonymous12:07 PM


  5. Anonymous12:15 PM

    I wonder how much the corporate response to your panic attack delayed everybody else's packages.

  6. Hey anonymous,

    Maybe I did have a panic attack over nothing. But you have to admit that even the United States Postal Service scans packages upon arrival rather than letting them drop off the radar for eight days. It think it's fair to be concerned when people are telling you they have no idea where your package is or if it even exsists, even if the delay is justified.

    It's too bad USPS doesn't offer priority mail to packages as big as a bike box. My only options to FedEx Ground would have run me in the hundreds of dollars to ship a bicycle 700 miles, and I was told by a customer service employee that Ground would take two days. Geoff also confirmed this idea, because he has used FedEx Ground out of Juneau and had packages arrive in the Lower 48 a matter of days. (And all packages out of Juneau fly to Anchorage first). Important lessons have been learned in this adventure. I appreciate FedEx's help in this matter and would use their service again, although I will ask a lot more questions in the future.

  7. Anonymous12:37 PM

    Every time I read Pugsley I smile.

    My parents bought the house I grew up in from a family named Pugsley (they would have been Betty MacDonald's neighbors in the Onions in the Stew era). I don't want to slander anybody, but my recollection is that the Pugsleys had a reputation for being lazy and taking shortcuts, and on that beach on Vashon the practice of taking a long length of wind-fallen tree and feeding it into the fireplace (rather than cutting it into manageable pieces of firewood), and slowly advancing the burning end into the fireplace as the log burned down was known as Pugsleying.

    I didn't want to say that while your bike was still missing.

    We're all glad it's found. Good luck next week.

    JAT in Seattle

  8. fantastic. i've been following your blog for over a year now. i was so bummed to hear that pugsley was lost. hooray for some peace of mind for you in Janeau :) have a great time out there during the ride... i know you will, and there's lots of people out there who are thinking of you!

  9. Jill--What a relief! I'm embarrassed at the number of times I've checked back here to check on Pugsley. Which brings me to wonder if I'll get any work done during the race... Do you have any tips for those of us wanting to track your progress & how you're doing?

    As an aside, I'm not sure if it's too cold or otherwise dangerous/impractical for you to bring music along, but I keep getting this image of you getting an extra boost by blasting the Flaming Lips' cover of War Dogs-give it a listen if you can, I think it'd pull you forward, even asleep.

    Best wishes for Pugsley-friendly snow & lots of ride-time!

    Heather in Pittsburgh

  10. I'm sure that you checking on your bike didn't delay any body else's packages. Anyway, isn't that FedEx's job -- to know where your package is at all times?

    I'm also really really glad Pugsley is back. Now on to the race!

  11. eric oliver1:26 PM

    Yeehaa! Let's go racing!!

  12. Was the FedEx driver named Wednesday? If so, I bet she had Pugsley strapped to an electric chair.

  13. Jill so pleased that you will be reunited with Pugsley very soon. From us here in Oz we wish you a safe journey.

  14. For everyone following Jill's progress.
    The best way to track racers during the race is the offical race website with latest news and a leaderboard.
    It will be updated twice daily and will follow the racers all the way to Nome.

    Kathi Hirzinger-Merchant

  15. Cool. Glad to hear the bike has materialized.

    Part of providing good customer service is communicating real information. Looks like FedEx has a problem with that in AK.

  16. Anonymous5:42 PM

    Don't mean to burst bubbles but....CHECK OUT the tune up and lube, I work in a shop that gets the bikes in boxes to assemble and "tune up " for events. Not a big effort made there. It ain't rocket science yet the shop mechanics doing the work may not be perfectionists and may not be real mechanics, start out assembling and disassembling and boxing bikes, if you get my drift. TEST RIDE, is everything just as you like it ? Can you re-adjust your own deraillures ? Is it PERFECT ? IF not, you want to know before you hit the trail, obviously.

  17. good point anonymous. and in many cases this would be a concern, but right now jill's bike is in the hands of likely one of the most knowledgeable snowbike mechanics in the world (as well as the iditarod invitational record holder). if it's not going to be in perfect shape to hit the trail by sunday then no bike is ever going to be. that said, we'll be sure to check it out thouroughly before the race.

  18. Mom & Dad Roes6:16 PM

    Jill, What a relief - now I can get on with other things and not spend all my time checking on your blog and Geoff's for any news about Pugsley - I know this is such a relief for you. We will be thinking of you on Sunday and all next week until you and Geoff are safe acrossed the finish line. Be smart, have a safe and fun filled race and remember all the while that we are thinking of you & Geoff and love you both - You Go Girl!!!! Tell Geoff we know that you both will be very successful in this race and we will be checking the progress of you two every other minute thru the entire race. Love, Mom & Dad Roes

  19. Anonymous7:42 PM

    "Jill's bike is in the hands of one of the most knowledgeable snowbike mechanics " great news ! thanks Geoff, good speed and great karma following you and Jill. We are all thinking of you, in an internet kind of way. Pedal and run safe.

  20. Thats great news, now get out there and have fun :)



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