Friday, November 14, 2008

November is lovely

Date: Nov. 10, 11, 13 and 14
Mileage: 17.0, 28.4, 60.3 and 22.1
November mileage: 401.4

November is one of the many months of Juneau in which you can have it all within the span of a three-hour ride: Rain, sleet, snain, snow, full-on blizzards, wind gusts that will suck the air right out of your lungs, more rain. That's essentially been the theme of my training this week: Mastering the art of the all-weather ride. After getting knocked around by wind on the Glacier Highway today (literally knocked around, in way that threatened to blow me into traffic), I opted to head up the Perseverance Trail even though I was riding my ice bike. I got caught in a blizzard and about six inches of new, wet, unrideable-with-skinny-tires snow. Common sense would dictate I turn around, but I thought - "eh, need to get a feel for these conditions. It'll make me tough." So I slogged through it to the top even though the work itself wasn't as strenuous as the activity level I was shooting for would have been. Now I'm headed to the gym for weight lifting and a more strenuous, less punishing interval session on the elliptical machine.

But I just wanted to write a quick blog post and thank everyone who bought my book so far. The response has been better than I anticipated given there was no build-up for it ... I pretty much just dropped it out there on Thursday. I've always been a bit dubious about the idea of bloggers writing books - the whole "why buy the cow" philosophy. But the support so far has been encouraging. You guys are the greatest!

For those who were thinking of purchasing a copy but found the shipping costs to be restrictive, I have an idea. Shoot me an e-mail at and tell me where you live. I'll look up exact shipping costs from Juneau to your home and send you back a quote. If you decide you'd like a copy, you can pay me directly through Paypal (same e-mail address, or gold button in the sidebar of this blog) and I will send out for a bulk order on Monday. I can get a bulk discount that will offset the original shipping costs to me, so I think that should reduce the international shipping price quite a bit. Plus, I'll sign it.

Also, if you have a blog and are interested in reviewing the book, send me an e-mail or leave a comment with your blog site/contact info and I'll send you a low-res version of the eBook. (Not as nice as the one offered on the Web site, but perfectly readable on screen.)

I think an listing is about six weeks away. But the publisher marketplace site really isn't so scary. Just think, for the price of a Subway extra value meal (or two, in the case of the paperback), you can have a month's worth of quality "Up in Alaska" material right at your fingertips. And you'll make me so happy. Go now! What are you waiting for? If you like the blog, you'll probably like the book. And if you don't like the blog, well, what are you doing here? (Click here instead.) ;-)

OK, that's enough of my marketing pitch. Back to you regularly scheduled bike punishment tomorrow.


  1. I love that you ride your bike for a million miles, and still go to the gym.

    I'm so happy for you and the success of the book!

  2. I am so excited that you've been writing away without a peep...good going! I ordered two, for starters. One is for my 22-year old intrepid niece...she is plotting a March hike/climb up Mt. Washington (east coast). It ain't Denali, but it's fierce in winter. This should totally inspire her! And maybe she will even come visit me in AK???? I can only try!

  3. I was almost blown off my bike a few weeks ago on my way home from work. I ended up thinking about a blog post of yours as I finished that ride - it was an older post, from iirc a winter solstice ride, only I don't remember what year. or maybe it was a dec. 31 ride. anyway, you talked about getting blown into the guardrail on the bridge, and that you'd heard later that there were 100mph gusts.

    I've only been bike commuting a few months, with pretty easy weather most of the time, so it was the first time I'd experienced wind that I felt was dangerous. I asked around for what other people would use as cues on whether to ride or not (this applies more in some ways to being a commuter, rather than training for extreme conditions), and one of the people said "7 or higher on the beaufort scale is when I don't ride."

    Thought you might find it helpful, or just interesting. The visual cues at least might help you guestimate the wind/gusts so you have a frame of reference.

    Or this might be old news to you. In which case, nevermind!

  4. Congrats on the book, Jill! And snain - that's a new word for me, so thanks for that. Have you heard of finter? That's what we called the brief period between summer and winter in Whitehorse.

  5. not a bad marketing pitch, jill! :)

  6. Hi Jill,
    I just read about your book over on Bluenoser's blog and curiosity brought me here. Living in Oz, the whole riding in the snow thing is completely foreign to me. I'm intrigued and can't even start to comprehend how it would feel like to ride mile after mile in freezing cold conditions so I'd love to read the book and write a review.

  7. Can't argue with photos like that.

  8. from
    US Forest Service issues directive categorizing bicycles separately from motorized uses

    Following a June internal memo differentiating mountain biking from motorized use, the US Forest Service issued fresh administrative directives including language clarifying bicycling as a non-motorized activity. The directives affect up to 130,000 miles of the agency's trails which are located all over the US.

    "Mountain biking is incredibly popular in national forests, and we believe it's appropriate to clarify the distinction between mountain biking and motorized use. Better policies will foster improved partnerships and riding experiences," said IMBA Executive Director Mike Van Abel according to the IMBA website.

    The actions come after several years of IMBA asking for further documentation on its mountain biking policies. While most national forests understand bicycling is a quiet, non-motorized activity, a few have implemented rules rendering bicycles akin to motorized travel. The new revisions to the Forest Service Handbook and Manual, which are the primary basis for control and management of agency programs, are a step toward standardizing mountain bike management at the field level.

    "We're extremely pleased the Forest Service is taking these steps to formally recognize bicycling as low-impact and human-powered. Embedding this information in their employee handbooks will promote better understanding and practices in all 175 national forests and grasslands," said Van Abel.

    The Forest service also updated its trail construction standards so that bicycling joins hiking as a potentially suitable use on all trail classes, from the most primitive of designated routes to more developed paths. Decision-making regarding bicycle access on specific trails will stay at a local level but the national-level change recognizes that the environmental impacts of bicycling are similar to hiking and less than other uses.

    IMBA and the Forest Service have been formal partners since 1994 and on their third consecutive memorandum of understanding, which runs through 2010.

  9. Jill,

    Down here in South Florida, we regularly get winds of 18 to 24 mph off the ocean at, push between condo buildings and on the road, hit you at velocities that make biking there untenable, though it normally is the safest place to ride on roads. Congrats on the book! I am a huge fan, and your stories and adventures keep me motivated (at 52, getting on my bike and doing 20 or more miles in 90 degrees F or higher is rough).
    Just bought your book! I am rooting for you! LindseyB

  10. If you are looking for a reviewer, I would be glad to offer my services. I can always do more reading. ionsmuse at yahoo dot com.

    Congrats on entering the big time. I foresee big things!

  11. Awesome Jill!! I ordered a copy and can't wait to read it. I look forward to having it autographed next time you're back in UT.



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