Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sucker hole

Date: Sept. 17
Mileage: 28.7
September mileage: 409.6

Thank you to those who wrote encouraging and helpful comments in my post yesterday. I was feeling frustrated and needed to vent a bit. I did wake up feeling better this morning. A hard rain was falling outside and I watched it for a while before deciding, "eh, what does it matter if I ride my bike or don't?" I settled in with a cup of coffee and the usual rotation of cats on my lap and worked on some editing for most of the morning.

I live in a dark basement of a bedroom and have to keep a light on regardless of the time of day, so I was a little shocked when I walked into the kitchen to replenish my coffee right before noon and looked out over the Channel (I should explain here that my building is built into a hill, so while my bedroom is underground, my front room is nearly 100 feet above a great, unobstructed view of the beach and Douglas Boat Harbor.) Anyway, there were streaks of sunlight, actual sunlight, brushed across the water. I put my coffee down, changed into my bike clothes, and rushed outside.

In my two years in Juneau, I've determined that my mood is based on three separate-but-equal factors. First, my environmental factor (such as the struggles with my job or the fact that my boyfriend no longer wants to live in the same time zone as the one I live in.) Then there's the biological factor (such as hormone levels, my extreme dislike of cooking that drives me to perpetuate rather poor nutrition habits, and my irritating cats that insist on waking me up at sunrise every morning.) And finally, the weather. It's kind of sad, actually, that one third of my mood is based on something I have absolutely no control over, but such is life in Juneau.

So even the faintest hints of sun on a September day were enough to drive me out into the afternoon, with just enough time to sprint up to Eaglecrest and back. As I powered past actual shadows and soaked in real UV rays, I hummed to myself that Polyphonic Spree song - "It's the Sun," the anthem of improved moods - and thought about singing out loud every time I blasted through another patch of light where the sun broke through swirling clouds ...

SUUU-UUUUUU-UUUN (Take some time, get away)
SUUU-UUUUUU-UUUN (Suicide is a shame)
SUUU-UUUUUU-UUUN (Soon, you'll find your own way)
SUUU-UUUUUU-UUUN (Hope has come, you are safe)
And it makes me smile
...

I have a new promise from my boss to take next Saturday off. I have told him it's important to me and I also told him I was going to buy a ferry ticket for a possible bike tour. I have not bought a ferry ticket yet, because I still have some apprehensions that have nothing to do with work. For starters, just a single week can make a big difference in how close it is to winter at the U.S.-Canadian border and all the other areas above 1,000 meters elevation. I can only carry so much clothing and gear on my Karate Monkey, which is the bike I have to use because my touring bike is in such a state of disrepair right now. I'd have to plan for the possibility of snow and ice, carry my minimalist camping gear for emergencies but bank on staying in hotels each night. But I think I can still do it. Ride the Golden Circle in the last weekend of September, starting at 8 a.m. Thursday in Skagway and arriving in Haines in time for the 10 a.m. ferry on Sunday. I will continue to watch the weather and make sure I have nightly accommodations secured (It's likely to drop into the low 20s at night, possibly lower.) But after the fuss and fight I put up about it, I think I have to. :-)