The BF's birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and just like a good girlfriend, I bought him a present I was sure I would love. He had mentioned a book about some hard-core biker girl's Iditabike journey, which sounded like it fit the bill perfectly. I dutifully searched online and found that, for some odd reason, I could only purchase a signed copy of Ghost Trails which I, again, dutifully did. Because it was a signed copy, it took a bit to get here, arriving just before the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo. I figured he would be too busy preparing for the race to notice if I took a quick peek at the first page. Or the second.....oh heck, what time is it?? 2 am?? OK, let me just finish this section....
Jill Homer, professional journalist turned endurance mountain bike junkie, I mean racer, held me captivated with her story and her words. She covered her epic, EPIC adventure through Alaska's interior in the 2008 Iditarod Trail Invitational in rich detail, alternately incorporating chapters of life experiences that shaped her and led her to that cataclysmic experience.
While I was reading, all around me preparations for 24 HOP were brimming and bulging. Coolers, water bottles, lights, batteries, food......oh god, the food. My own preparations were becoming more and more concerned with how I was going to finish the book in time for the race. Not only was the material captivating, but I was convinced that JH had some secret to unveil about pain, suffering and tolerating the self-inflicted hell that us crazies seem to thrive on. Or at least I would be able to think about her suffering when I hit a low point and my pain would pale in comparison.
It was suggested that I bring the book along with me during the race, perhaps sneak a page or two on the flat sections of trail. I could even bust it out at a photographically opportune moment and get JH some additional press. I thought my competition might be scared if I came by reading a book.
Unfortunately the outcome in this multi-choice situation would be the infamous (e) None of the Above. In other words, no, I didn't finish the book in time, no, I didn't distill any secrets to help me through 'hell lap,' and not only did I not go zooming by Lynda Wallenfels while reading a passage from Ghost Trails, I did not go zooming by Lynda Wallenfels at all. Ha! Dreams, I mock thee.
I did, however, manage to finish the book last night....just in time to follow the 2009 Iditarod Trail Invitational on the internet, via blogs, message board posts, and the homepage updates.
If interested, information on the ride/ski/run is available at the following site:
And at Jill's blog:
As if anything were more important than riding 350 miles in subzero temps through Alaska, I've had to use this reading as inspiration for my own next adventure. It looks like India is way too soon to be realistic, and since there will be another race there in the fall.....I can procrastinate re: India.
I need to decide whether I'll invest my energy in the NUE series and traveling this summer, or spend the same money on some gear bags and some gear and jump in on the Arizona Trail Race. In April. Next month.
And then, if that goes well, I could gear up a bit and jump on the Colorado Trail Race, ending up in Durango with plenty of time to hang out and recover before ss worlds.... Are these the dreams made of that bubbly, Euro-candy chocolate that melts away in your mouth as soon as it hits your tongue?? Or are these the ones that land you in a position to remember that cycling is about setting your own destiny in the stars and that life is a choose your own adventure book anyway.