Thursday, October 29, 2009

First day of Pugsley season

(photo by Michael Penn)

Poor, neglected Pugsley. I finally headed out to my storage unit to extract him from cobwebs and dust. He still has the tiny road racing saddle I used as a placeholder after I stole the original seat to use on the Great Divide (and subsequently wore it to shreds and threw it away.) The lube is probably six months old. I don't even know what's up with the brakes. Much maintenance is needed, but today it did not matter. There was snow on the Eaglecrest Road, and it was fully necessary to get out and lay some first tracks.

I have no problem riding most of this steep road in the summer, but it's a beast with a 36-pound bike atop wet powder with a film of ice. I walked most of the way up with a group of hikers, who, like me, just wanted to get out and enjoy what feels like the season's "first snow."

It was cold and windy at the top — a small taste of the raging northeasterly Taku blast that is reportedly on its way.

I was dressed in rain gear rather than frigid-wind-blocking snow gear, a mistake I make a lot this time of year. So I couldn't linger up high as long as I would have liked.

Looking out over the top of the ski hill, Fish Creek canyon, and the Mendenhall Wetlands far below.

Much of the road had iced up by the time I went down, so I skirted to the side and rode the shoulder — with occasional forays over frozen tundra — through an exhilarating blast of wet powder. Pugsley's tires, still coated in spring mud, effortlessly floated on top of the ice-crusted surface, and for a few beautiful minutes, all was silent except for the wind. Silence and speed ... those are the origins of bliss.

I wonder who missed it more ... me or Pugsley.


  1. You are the balls and a blast to hang with....

  2. Ahhhh! SNOW! Very nice Jill. I like it.

  3. You sure are a happy kid.
    Even though I'm enjoying a SS rigid 29er, every day is Pugsley season in Tallahassee.
    Carry on.
    Tallahassee Trails

  4. I would love to experience snow riding! But it "ain't happenin" here in the South. Even when it does snow, I don't have the equipment. I'll just have to enjoy it through your writing!

  5. Do you have to worry about bears when you're out by yourself? I've never been to the southeast, and I love my bear-free southwestern tundra. :)

  6. Wheeeee!! Good to see the snain has subsided!

  7. Look how happy you are together!

  8. Jill,

    Beautiful pictures and stories as always. But honestly, you've got Avid mechanical disk brakes - what can really go wrong?

  9. Good to see you are back on the bike.

  10. Are you in St. Augustine enjoying a cold one after a long ride from San Diego (that would be north of the pricey reality hills, drama style). Hey CA Girls (sans Bucket, she had serious knee problems) and couldn't make the trip... but Michele... she took a ride in a private plane with some dude while we worried, drank green beer and wound up with guys we had just met. Nice apartment. Hot tub (Michele's brother), ping pong table. Ohh the memories. Why did those two go to counseling (Heidi and ****head)... then GET ALL MARRIED while gambling with that boxer dude (as in The Art of War)I also liked the little Mexican boxer, MAN was he tough! All backwards, in a sorta Colorado way, where Heidi's father wore a cool cowboy hat and didn't like the fiancee all that much!

  11. Man i can't wait til my Pugs is done!!!!


  12. Back to riding. Excellent.

    And, once again, the pictures are absolutely fabulous. Brava!


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