Inspired by the map, (and not feeling the need to brave the rain,) I sat down yesterday to organize more states, focusing on places I can’t imagine cycling in the dead of winter – the states that share a border with Canada.

Alaska has many options, many dead-of-winter options. Like the Iditarod Trail Invitational . Or, on a smaller scale, the Susitna 100. The idea of passing through Wasilla was exciting. I can see Russia from there, right? The Alaska Randonneurs have a plethora of events, including the Big Wild Ride. I started to get the sense that Alaskans are more self-sufficient than I. So, I’m torn. Do I stay in my comfort zone and show up for a fully supported charity ride, or do I see Alaska like an Alaskan?

The rain briefly abated, and I finally got myself to a yoga class. I always feel so much better when I do. Then I biked a few errands, and returned home to cook dinner and wait for replies to some logistical e-mails (gear and carpools for the Climate Ride, potential bike rentals for an Idaho ride, the mandatoriness of a 4-days-before-the-ride mandatory packet pick up for an Alaska ride).

I was eagerly checking my in-box every 5 minutes when the office sent me one of those, “have you talked to this mom yet she just called us again” e-mails. We’d exchanged e-mails, traded voice mails, and I’d been waiting for her to call me back. So I picked up the phone.

Forty-five minutes later, all the joy had been sucked from my day.

If I don’t block out time to ride, it won’t happen.
If I do block out time to ride, it interferes with other people’s agendas.

As I sit here searching for the words, wondering if this entire project is massively selfish, my stomach is churning, reminding me that I need to read essays, I need to go out and train, I need to be presentable for a video chat.

I need to finish blocking out my schedule. I can’t make everyone happy, but if I have a plan, I’ll have a blueprint to work around, instead of an amorphous cloud of uncertainty.

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