Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Leaving warm and sunny Juneau

Date: Feb. 21, 23
Mileage: 25.5 and 19.7
February mileage: 601.7
Temperature: 34 and 36

I fly out Tuesday afternoon with Pugsley and two big bags of miscellaneous gear in tow. I'm going to spend the next several days in Anchorage and Palmer completing last minute prep, giving Pugsley a makeover, mad-rushing to buy gear I've forgotten and generally just getting my head out of the crush of things I have going on here in Juneau. I'm going to miss it here, though, because the weather has been so clear and seasonable and generally smile-inducing. I have been trying to get out for bike rides but haven't had a lot of time. I thought I was pacing myself well this year, but I'm still going to end up packing late into the night tonight.

Weather in Anchorage for the next week also looks pleasant - highs in the 20s and not a lot of snow on the forecast. Sunday's forecast in the Mat-Su Valley calls for partly sunny and highs in the 20s. Skwentna on Monday has a high of 30 and a low of 11. Puntilla Lake on Tuesday calls for snow showers, a high of 18 and low of 2. Nikolai and McGrath later in the week calls for intermittent snow showers, highs in the teens and lows near 0. All in all, a very encouraging forecast. Of course you can't put a lot of weight on long-range forecasts, but I can keep watching them and crossing my fingers than no -40s or 60-mph winds pop up.

I'm sure I'll post again before the race, which starts at 2 p.m. March 1, so I'll post up my SPOT shared page and race updates links then. I wanted to announce that Scott Morris, organizer of the Arizona Trail Race, mapping expert and all-around ultra-mountain-biking geek, has offered to track my progress on my blog this year. Those of your familiar with his coverage of Mike Curiak's 2008 self-supported tour know how thorough he can be. (Incidentally, Scott will be tracking Mike Curiak's ride again this year as well.) He'll probably stay busy with Mike's page, but I'm guessing Scott will provide at least some commentary about trail conditions, splits and other racer's positions along with really cool Topofusion-generated maps. So be sure to check in on this blog during the race.

Also, I won't be available to send out orders for signed copies of my book for at least two weeks. But you can still support me in this race by purchasing the book for yourself or your crazy outdoor-nut cousin using any one of the other Lulu or Amazon.com links in the sidebar of this blog. The eBook is only $8! Your support, as always, is appreciated.

Also, Ultra Rob is again holding a fundraiser for my race. For every item of cycling and outdoor gear purchased through his site from now through March 1, he will donate 20 percent of the commission to my Iditarod effort. If you have something in mind that you were thinking of getting, now is a good time. Check out the wide selection here.

Wish me luck! It's a total lie when people say just getting to the starting line is the hardest part, but it sure ain't easy.


  1. Yay! I'm so excited to read about this.

  2. I'm very excited for you Jill. Good luck with all of the pre-race prep that still needs to be done.

    May the weather hold up, and may you ride like the wind, but most of all...be safe. Best of luck to you Jill!!

  3. Jill,
    Have fun and like the others I hope the weather report doesn't change for the worse. We'll be checking in on you - gather strength from that.
    Can't wait for the post race story.
    Big Boned

  4. Good Luck Jill!!! I will be cheering for you and crossing my fingers for good weather!

    Have a great race :-)

  5. Good luck, Jill,

    I'll be keeping track and wishing you well and a safe race. May the winds be at your back and your goals met head on.


  6. best of luck... best wishes for good weather and hardpacked snow!

    thanks for sharing your adventures with us on this blog!

    -sara in boston

  7. Have a great race and I look forward to hearing all about it.

    Safe travels Jill

  8. Ride it like you stole it! Have a great race and beat last years time.

  9. Jill-

    Best of luck at this year's race! I pray for safety and excellent cycling conditions to take you to the finish.

    I have enjoyed reading your account of training and preparing. It is encouraging to hear stories of cycling in subzero temperatures, makes the winter here in Buffalo go by quicker.

    Best regards,


  10. Reading your blog has helped me get me through the last two winters riding down here in Nebraska. It's been fun to watch you progress over that period. Good luck out there on Round 2 and enjoy yourself.

  11. luck

    My verification word was "urinutio." Sounds like some sort of new granola. Hope you're not packin' that.

  12. Sending out good vibes for you! Best of luck, Jill. :)

  13. Best of luck, as always, Jill! I know you're going to kick ass. You have this covered.

  14. Good luck Jill, I have been following your blog since your race last year and have enjoyed following your progress up to this year's race. Have a great race!

  15. GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. I found your blog at the end of last years race and I have been reading with excitement the lead up to this one.
    Good Luck Jill!!! Ride safe but most of all ride fast!
    Houston TX

  17. Good luck Jill. Remember, you are doing this for no one but yourself. Enjoy it!

  18. The very best of luck this year Jill. We will all be cheering for you!

  19. Good luck Jill! I think the stars and planets are aligned just right for this year. It's going to be a great race. Can't wait to follow your progress and read the various updates until we get the full report.

  20. Wow, hard to believe it's been a year already! I can't wait to follow the action again! Wishing you AND all the other racers a safe journey!

  21. Best of luck! I'll be glued to the updates just like last year.

  22. Good luck Jill! My copy of Ghost Trails arrived this week (thanks!), so I shall be reliving your effort from last year as you are out there on the trail!

  23. Have a great ride, Jill. Can't wait to read about it!

  24. Go get 'em Jill! You've done the hard prep, now just go do it. When things get tough, remember how hard you've worked and you'll get through it.

    Any time I'm training and ready to wimp out, I remind myself that my hair is not frozen and I won't have to bivvy by the side of the trail at the end of the day.

  25. Holding you in the light.

  26. Mike in WI said...

    May those blessed legs of forward locomotion rub the snow raw...

    Good luck Jill!

  27. Hi Jill,

    you don't know me, but I have been following your blog for a while now from my hometown, Phoenix.
    My husband was a cyclist, and I took on his interest.
    A good friend of mine in Juneau saw you cycling last week, and I asked her if she had time to say hi from me :-) No, so I'd better do it here.

    Good luck with everything you have going on!


  28. Good luck !.

    P.S. Don't eat the yellow snow.

  29. Go go go. Your blog is fun to read on a cold wintery night in Wisconsin. Good luck. Watch out for magical snowmen.

  30. hey Jill...all the best and enjoy all your peanut butter cups! We'll eat some in your honor when you get to McGrath.
    (And I can't believe you rode your bike off the Dan Moller ridge! What a rush. Robbi, Bryan and I were marvelling about awesome that must have felt!)
    Cheers and many wishes for your health and sanity...and hope you have great amounts of fun (even if you are delirious at any point).
    Cheers! Deb

  31. Good Luck Sister! Hope everything goes well, you stay healthy, you eat, your safe, you have good/ideal weather, and that your SPOT tracker works the entire way. Chris and I are thinking about you.

  32. Well, here it is a year from the last time you were lining up for this race. We are all wishing you the best and we know you will do a great job again this year. Eat and drink, sleep, stay positive and remember we will be watching all the way and checking the SPOT updates. Hopefully, this helps out with all anxieties that we suffered last year. Good luck, stay safe and remember we love you.

  33. I purchased a Pugsley bike today not only because I have wanted one for a long time but also so I can more realistically follow along with your race from my Minnesota shop chair with beer in hand. I am very excited to follow this race now knowing something about it and its racers. I hope you and the others have rideable trail and beautiful weather. Jared

  34. There's some 40 comments here, so I don't know if this one will even be seen, but have you ever thought about selling an audio book!?

    In many respects this should be the most profitable endevor of the three (printed book or ebook being the other two) as there's really no cost other then the time to record it and paypal's 3%.

    I do think paypal can by default handle digital goods. If not there are many others that can, like cruxy.com.

    1) highest percent profit

    2) least cost to produce (other then time)

    3) Instant gratification. Users can get download it immediately.

    4) Far more useful then an ebook.

    5) Finally and most importantly...

    What could be better then listening to what's in jill's head when she's riding while you're out riding!

    I've got to say... I absolutely love listening to audiobooks and audiopocasts while out riding and touring. The best is getting up at 5am, putting on an audiobook and making coffee. It just puts you in the right frame of mind.


Feedback is always appreciated!