Sunday, November 30, 2008

Feels like summer

Date: Nov. 28 and 29
Mileage: 40.3 and 15.0
November mileage: 810.9

Cloudy. 47 degrees. Light rain. I complained a fair amount during the frequent days when the weather was like this in July and August. But in late November, it actually feels pretty nice. The temperatures have been so mild that there isn't a speck of snow or ice left on most of the roads and trails. I even recommissioned my road bike and rode it for the first time in two months.

Yesterday I peeled off a number of layers I didn't need, rolled up the sleeves on my hoodie and rode a brisk tailwind 25 mph along the North Douglas Highway. With no gloves and no hat, I could feel the cool breeze streaming around my skin. The bike's skinny tires hardly made a sound on wet pavement. Then, while fighting the wind back the way I came, I glanced over at the most amazing rainbow arcing over the Mendenhall Glacier - a nearly perfect frame. I slammed on the brakes, nearly tipped over because I forgot I was still attached to clipless pedals, wrestled out of my Camelbak and frantically rifled through the contents in an effort to find my camera before the light faded. But it wasn't there. I eventually dumped everything out of the pack, and the rainbow began to fade, and it wasn't there. Somehow, while reattaching the seat and seat post bag, looking for a spare skinny tube, pumping up the tires, adjusting the shifters and brakes and greasing the chain on my long-neglected road bike, I managed to forget my camera. Gaaaa!

Of course I indulged in a serious grump about the matter, and decided to work out my aggression by climbing the Eaglecrest Road at full throttle until the road conditions became too sketchy for my skinny tires. I ended up riding all the way to the top - the snow-free base of the ski area. Yeah, I hate to be the one to break it to Juneau skiers, but I don't think there's any way that place is opening Dec. 6.

Today I rode out to the Glacier to meet my friends and sustained two flat tires along the way. Right now, my road bike has a rear tire that is little more than a strip of cigarette paper with a faint hint of rubber. I've know this for months now, so I have only myself to blame for the flats.

Our friends and their 5-week-old daughter have been visiting us from the frozen land of the North - Palmer. Between hanging out with them and Thanksgiving, I haven't had much time to ride this weekend, but it's been fun to be predominantly social for a change.

I feel like I have a good long solo ride coming to me. Soon. Maybe when winter comes back.


  1. CRAZY warm here too! What the heck?? We're hovering around zero degrees celsius. It's insane. The snow is soft and somewhat annoying. Although I'll take this over the -45 temps any day, which is what we had last year at this time...

  2. Mm...we are having a raining season 2 xchange link with my
    North Sulawesi
    blog?I've added ur link in my blog

  3. 48 degrees and threatening rain down my way.

  4. Hi there! Now I used to ride the trails back in Michigan winters, but wow. I am put to shame, girl! Those are some fat tires, for sure! I have become more a a road cyclist since moving to Washington state, but I will definitely be hitting up the Bellingham trails this winter. Can't wait to read your book!

  5. Janson and I saw about 40 degrees near Anchorage, and a torrential downpour, on Friday.

    On a separate subject, I heard on NPR yesterday (I think it was the AK program on NPR) that airlines are going to start advertising flying to Juneau to thrill seekers. Because it's that much fun just to fly into Juneau.

    Which is why I will never do it!!

  6. Shoot! I am sure that rainbow was amazing, even if the pic was never taken. Methinks global warming is at fault.


  7. I'm glad the weather is nicer for you! It is too nice here in Utah so I feel like I will never be able to use my snowboarding passes! But everyone else isn't complaining. Enjoy your visitors!

  8. Jill, it sounds like the sunny warmth I sent your way helped a bit.

    I have a HUGE favor to ask of you: could you give me the link to the site where you got your code? The one with the static background image and the transparency of the text?

    I know you posted it in either a post or a comment a while back when everyone asked for it, but (like a fool) I neglected to bookmark it...

    Please? Pretty please?

    cheers from Oz,

    BTW, the tires on my skinny roadie aren't in much better shape than yours. Birds of a feather?

  9. I'd also appreciate that code too if you don't mind Jill.

    I'll have my own Pug hopefully in the next month or so. My photos will be very different to yours though ... Australian deserts ... just as soon as it cools down enough for me to get out there.

    Happy trails:-/

  10. Ok, the code. I just figured it out for another page I am working on. First, you have to upload your image to photobucket or another photo hosting site. It should be 10.25" wide and 72 dpi. You'll need to fade it out quite a bit to make the text over it readable (I did the fade-out myself in photoshop. Someday when I change this image I'll fade it even more, because it is a little muddled.)

    Then go in your blog layout window, click "Add HTML," paste the code and pull that box to the top of the list.

    Here's the code:

    (OK, you guys are going to have to e-mail me for the code. Blogger is not letting me post HTML.


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