Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Covering ground

Date: March 25
Mileage: 42.5
March mileage: 441.6
Temperature: 32

A co-worker who doesn't know me very well stopped me today and said, "Hey, I saw you out on your bicycle by the ferry terminal the other day. Wow! You're really covering ground."

"Which day was that?" I asked, because it seemed the natural response.

"That day you were out by the ferry terminal," he answered.

"Could be a lot of days," I said.

"You mean you've been out there more than once?"

I just smiled because the ferry terminal is only 12 miles from downtown Juneau. There seems to be this perception among non-cyclists that their world is a very, very big place - too big to traverse without the aid of big machines and fossil fuels. It takes a slow-moving cyclists' perspective to realize that our world is in fact a small place, because all it takes is patience - just patience - and you can go almost anywhere.

Right now I'm suffering from a bit of "my world is too small and there's nowhere to go" fatigue. Despite the longish rides I've put in this past week, I feel hungry for a good, hard ride where I can really work myself over. But the trails are all covered in slop; the hikes are all buried in avalanche danger; and the roads have all been done, again and again and again.

Not that I have any right to complain. I recall this time last year, swimming 90 laps at the pool, running for two and a half hours on the elliptical trainer at the gym, just for a shot of that satisfyingly addictive "worked over" feeling. Things could definitely be worse.

This picture I think illustrates very well the way Geoff feels about cycling in Juneau. But he only has to suffer this place for one more month.