Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cranking on the portage

With Daylight Savings Time come and gone, Mike seems to be traveling later into the night. He was still pedaling strong at 11 p.m. Tuesday. I wonder if he noticed — or cared — about the time change. Obviously, it doesn't really matter to him. He probably rises with the sun and pedals until he's ready to crash, the same that anyone would do when their sole occupation is forward motion.

This close to the spring equinox, he's enjoying roughly 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of darkness. Temperatures were near zero and east winds would be generally favorable, and it seems Mike moved at a steady fast clip throughout today despite the upward sloping terrain out of Kaltag. The trail between Kaltag and Unalakleet is known as "the portage" because it traverses between two bodies of water — the Yukon in the east and the Bering Sea to the west. Once he reaches Unalakleet, he Mike will be on the Bering Sea (sometimes literally) all the way to Nome. Out there, the wind blows hard and always, but it will be relatively new terrain to him, a region he hasn't traveled through since the last time he rode to Nome. (2001?) He had only about 20 more miles to ride to the coast as of 11 p.m.

— J.H.

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