Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hold back the rain

Date: Jan. 10
Mileage: 30.1
January mileage: 258.4
Temperature upon departure: 24

Saturday, tempo ride, 30 miles, 2.5 hours. My knee felt much better today. Still some soreness, but I've concluded the problem was almost entirely in having my seat too low. I originally lowered it to help leverage better steering control on the foot paths (i.e. winter singletrack.) I greased the seatpost heavily because it is a tight fit anyway and always a beast to adjust, and I'm guessing that caused it to slip down a little more before it froze in place. I fixed the problem today with a little help and a lot of leverage from Geoff. I am going to install a new seatpost soon.

But I felt a lot more comfortable and even a little faster heading out North Douglas today, despite yet more new snow. I pedal as hard as I can, until my quads are screaming, but that doesn't really translate to speed in these conditions. I've decided that any time I average more than 10 mph, I can count the ride as a "tempo" ride. Nearly 40 inches of snow has fallen since Jan. 2. That would translate to a 120-inch snow month if it continued at this rate, but it's not going to. A warming trend has commenced, and rain is in the forecast now. I wish the rain would hold off for two more days. After that, I'll be gone. But it probably will come Sunday. And when it does, rain on top of several feet of dry powder snow is going to make everything, and I mean everything, horrifically sloppy, nasty and completely unbikeable. Since I've lost my momentum in my 10-day training binge anyway, I see a bit of slumming at the gym in my near future.

But, on a different note, I wanted to share something I found during random Internet browsing:

It's a picture of guys in the U.K. reading my book! They didn't send this photo to me. I found it while I was browsing the blog sites of other 2009 Iditarod racers. I'm guessing one of them is John Ross, who's living the dream and training for the Iditarod Invitational in another typically wet, cold coastal climate. I was pleasantly amused. I never really thought about the possibility of other racers reading my book. I hope it doesn't dissuade anyone from showing up at the starting line. (I have to admit that I question my own sanity when I think too much about my experiences last year.)

I haven't posted about the book in a while, but it's still available. I've made a few edits since the original version and it is slowly becoming more polished. Such is the nature of spontaneous indie publishing. I've sold a little more than 500 copies since November, which is awesome! I'm slowly working on increasing the distribution. It's available now at Hearthside Books in Juneau and Speedway Cycles in Anchorage, and should be up on pretty soon. I'd love to further increase the distribution, but have taken close to no time to actually market the book. I still have yet to send out review copies to several magazines and publications that requested one (I keep running out of my own stash of books.) If you have a favorite little bookstore or bike shop that you think may be at all interested in stocking a book like this, send me an e-mail at and let me know where/how I can contact them so I can send them my pitch. I'm happy with the lucrativeness of this book so far, but I think I've nearly tapped out the market from my blog. Time to branch out.