Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Date: Nov. 17 and 18
Mileage: 32.2 and 35.0
November mileage: 510

I felt strong during my two "tempo" rides today and yesterday. My plan has been to ride three or four of these rides every week: two to three hours of semi-uncomfortable effort. But I am almost certainly on a fitness plateau right now, because these rides have become much too easy. I know the obvious answer is "ride harder," but I almost feel like my lungs and heart have outpaced my legs, and I just don't have the muscle power to push the pace much higher. I know I probably do, I just need to find it. And of course there's the short cuts - more intervals, climbing, squats. But there's just so much fun riding out there right now - frozen trails, hardened muskeg, shattery paper ice (see small photo) and dustings of new snow. I keep telling myself I can start building again in December. :-)

I was able to get in plenty of bursts of hard effort today after I snapped the rear shifter cable on my mountain bike. I feel bad for my Karate Monkey; only seven months old, and she's already been through the war. But after riding most of the morning with three speeds (and really only using the middle ring), I have to say, I still don't understand the single-speed thing. It's not a matter of being able to push a high gear up steep hills - that I can do if I have to. But I prefer to have my rotations per minute stay the same no matter how fast I'm going. Single-speeders must have their legs spinning all sorts of different crazy speeds. And once your RPMs drop down to two or three, don't you start questioning the efficiency of your one gear?

Also, I wanted to thank people who have e-mailed me about buying a book. When I made the offer, I didn't really formulate a plan about how I would organize requests and orders and the like. So what I have is an inbox full of e-mails, some of which I have answered, some which I'm not sure, etc. I plan to sit down and organize the whole mess on Thursday or Friday, so if I haven't gotten back to you yet, I apologize. I put in a big order Monday (and I want to thank those who already sent in Paypal payments; it made the prospect of ordering a big box of the exact same book much less painful.) I was told they would take six to eight days to print, so the turnover may be a little longer than I expected. I ordered some extras and can always order more, so if you are still interested in a signed copy or are hesitant to use the direct site, please e-mail at jillhomer66@hotmail.com.

Once I get a chance to really scrutinize and think about it, I may go the route of purchasing a distribution package, getting the book on Amazon and possibly into actual stores (maybe bike shops?). Of course, this would require a ton of marketing on my part, and convincing third parties that it's a worthy product. One of the main benefits of having an outside publisher (besides brutal, thorough editing) is marketing. I'm still not sure whether I want to step outside the safe boundaries of this blog. This was, after all, a personal project and not a commercially-minded venture. More of what I think I might get out of "Ghost Trails" is a learning experience that I can use as a springboard for future projects.

That said, I'm curious if any books have trickled in yet. I'm interested in feedback, any feedback. If you've had a chance to look it over, shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment and let me know what you think. I realize people aren't just going to receive the book and read the whole thing in a day (although it is a pretty quick read), but I just wanted to throw it out there that I'm interested in hearing your thoughts, whatever they may be.

And, just as a friendly reminder, it's still available here. :-)

Finally, I just signed up for Facebook! I still don't know why. Peer pressure, I presume. But that's the whole reason I started a blog, so maybe it will work out for me. My profile.