Saturday, June 28, 2008

I smacked too soon (but I am gonna win)

I definitely feel silly about all my smack talk now, because I am in love with the Yukon. I don't want to beat the good mountain bikers of Whitehorse. I want to join them. They live in paradise - a Canadian Dream. An endless maze of singetrack that starts right out the back door. Dry, flowing trails that you have all to yourself. Amazing winter biking, too (sure, it's sometimes 50 below, but what place is perfect?) I'll tell you what place is close - Whitehorse.

I have experienced a ton of amazing biking in my first two days here. Probably way more biking than is healthy this close to a 24-hour race. But the lure of these tight, rolling trails is too strong, and I have lived in Juneau too long. In the land of roots and mud, you can forget what mountain biking can really be like. I am a singletrack-aholic from a prohibition town, currently on a bender.

My friends and I spent today in Carcross, a trail system with built jumps and berms (trails made for mountain biking! What a concept!) Unfortunately, I made a dumb mistake on an easy spur called "Old Wagon Trail" of all things, and went butt-over-face over the handlebars. I jammed my right knee right into my chainring and ripped a deep gash across my kneecap, and now it is swollen and sore. I'm hoping it loosens up before the race tomorrow. But even if it doesn't, I'm still going to win the race, which I'm kinda bummed about.

Why? Because I found out at the race meeting that I am the only woman competing in the solo class. Not only that, but I must be the only woman who has ever competed in the solo class, because I found out I am racing against my own course record. That's right. My no-training, still-injured, half-time effort of 2007 is supposedly the women's course record. Sigh.

There's still the boys to race against, but that's gonna be hard. I'm up against a couple of local heroes and Jeff Oatley of Fairbanks, a multiple (fast) finisher of the Iditarod Invitational and the first American to cross the finish line in the 2007 Race Across America. Oh well. It doesn't hurt to aim high. Gimpy knee and all.


  1. Karma's a bitch !.

    I knew as soon as you started talking trash you were gonna crash and get hurt. The biking gods don't like insolence.

  2. Race for your heart, not your head. You will do your best because that is what you always do. Measures don't matter, but don't be afraid to measure against the boys!

    you go girl!

  3. Jill, let me tell you something. In my country, when a girls does boy's things we says "├ęs un cavallot" (she is a little horse). When I read your adventures I thing in this word for your, always playing with boys... Don't be angry with me, I say it with simpathy, and I admire you a lot, even I don't share your obsesions. Each one have theirs, and I have mines, too, but these don't include to bike in such horrendous conditions!
    Good luck!

  4. There are some pretty strong women out there like those who sail the oceans single handed and run the country etc etc. So good luck to you

  5. I just found you site recently. You have some incredible pictures.


  6. ". I jammed my right knee right into my chainring and ripped a deep gash across my kneecap, and now it is swollen and sore. I'm hoping it loosens up before the race tomorrow. But even if it doesn't, I'm still going to win the race, which I'm kinda bummed about."

    Can you "win" a mountain bike race if you DNF ?. What would happen if you crashed during the race, got hurt, and were forced to quit ?. Even though you were the only starter would they say you still won even if you weren't running at the end ?.

  7. Keep the wheels spinning Jill. Hope your knee is well enough to last the whole race.
    If it's any consolation, I crashed hard just recently and nursing several broken ribs as a result. I won't be pushing it for a while.

    Best of luck and looking forward to seeing some good results. Whip those Yukon boys into shape.

  8. You're a stud Jill. Good luck, have fun, beat the boys.

  9. Health care is free in civilized, cold, Canada. Knee repairs for all.

  10. I can't find any website with 24 Hours of Light 2008 race reports. Has anybody else?

  11. Anon,
    You need to get over it - Jill doesn't post her exploits as a personal insult to you. She doesn't share her stories of 1000-mile months to get attitude from someone who won't even share his name. With the exception of your cranky a**, we're here to read about Jill's tenacity, her unbending obsession and her enthusiasm for doing things most of us don't even contemplate. We're not her to read her getting shat upon by some negative, anti-fun, obviously-threatened sourpuss like you. So take your negative comments and post them to your own blog (which none of us will read). Or better yet, keep your crap to yourself. We're here to cheer for Jill!

  12. i loved riding my bike from last 20 years when most of the bikes were new-ish looking mountain bikes. There were quite a few adult couples there... and doing what non-bike educated people do: judging a find based on whether or not the wheel is true and whether or not the brakes work instead of looking for frame quality, integrity (from rust, dents, cracks), and weight/material; looking for rust or wear on cranks, gears, and hubs.. You know, the stuff that gives a bike its value. I mean, I bet some of them were going by colour choice too.
    welcome to the cycling world with us!

    Addiction Recovery Alaska


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