Got Snow? Add Bicycle.
LUKE BURBANK, host:
Laura Conaway who keeps our blog afloat with literally hundreds of posts a day is here today. She is bringing us up to speed on our On the Blogs segment. We got the music right this time. You know why, because I wasn't responsible to talk to it, they just fired it automatically. So here it is…
ALISON STEWART, host:
That went well.
BURBANK: …with music and all, Laura Conaway On the Blogs, what have you?
LAURA CONAWAY: Good morning.
One of the things we have is a little update on the MySpace suicide case.
CONAWAY: The lawyer for the woman who had some part in putting up the MySpace page that had the fake Josh Evans and wooed Megan Meier who then killed herself. The lawyer finally got back to us, and there's not a whole lot to it, but I'm going to go ahead and put it out there just to get the other side.
We've opened a contest to name NPR's pet bat.
(Soundbite of laughter)
STEWART: And for people who may be just tuning in to the podcast today, how did we come to have a pet bat, Laura?
CONAWAY: Well, this guy named Bill Chappell in Washington D.C. who works for NPR noticed this little thing - it - really, it's the size of walnut - hiding in the crevice of a building in Washington and…
BURBANK: Right across from NPR D.C.. I recognized…
BURBANK: …the building where it is - around Seventh Avenue there.
CONAN: So we started blogging it and then we took some video of it and it's just now, it's a world-famous bat, so we'd like you to name it.
STEWART: It's kind of like "Our Moment of Zen" from the Daily Show at the end or like Sunday morning when they just have a beautiful piece of wildlife at the end. We have a bat - about 40 seconds of the cute bat on our Web site.
BURBANK: And it's - he doesn't even, I don't know if it's a boy or girl, the bat barely moves in the video and yet it is the most compelling thing I have ever seen. I've watched it now about 57 times and counting.
CONAWAY: And someone called in a haiku to the bat.
(Soundbite of laughter)
CONAWAY: Which I thought was pretty good.
The big thing I have going on today though is Jill Homer, the Iditarod biker, checked in. She is the person up in Juneau, Alaska who's planning to ride 350 miles on a mountain bike through the snow on the same trail that's used by the sled dogs. And I just frankly asked her, well, how do you deal with this much snow? So, she sent 10 top tips for biking in snow. And then I said, let's get real. So I called her and I said, Jill, how much snow is too much snow? What if you're on the race and you get two feet of snow?
Ms. JILL HOMER (Iditarod Biker): You get pretty stuck. A couple of feet, you wouldn't be able to ride a bike in that. So when things like that happen during the race, they usually get long periods where people are walking their bikes through the snow until a snowmobile goes through or a different trail-breaker go through and pack down the trails so they can ride.
CONAWAY: So, I mean, this is an athlete. She says things like I went for a longer ride than I expected and then I went up a mountain.
(Soundbite of laughter)
CONAWAY: And so I asked her, how many hours is she spending on the bike now?
Ms. HOMER: It's up to about between two and three on weekdays, and then I'm trying to do at least one long ride every weekend that I'm increasing. Right now, it's eight hours for my long ride and then that's going to keep going up a little bit.
BURBANK: Holy mackerel.
STEWART: I can imagine her quads.
CONAWAY: It's kind of nuts, right?
STEWART: Quads of steel.
CONAWAY: Yeah, eight hours and going up. And…
BURBANK: Quads of steel and tears of ice.
CONAWAY: Right. The last time we talked to her, she admitted to feeling a little bit of nervousness. She'd been tossed around in her sleeping in her backyard trying to practice winter camping. So I checked in with her again about that and it sounds like she's got the nerves under control. And then I asked, well, do you ever dream about the race?
Ms. HOMER: I do. I actually had a dream last night that I fell through some ice.
Ms. HOMER: You know, just things like that that I am fearful of, but learning about them helps me overcome that fear.
CONAWAY: She's a better man than I am.
BURBANK: Ice road trucker, Jill Homer.
STEWART: I think the blog is a little cathartic for her.
BURBANK: It's probably…
STEWART: I'm getting the sense that she's been - she's able to verbalize some of her fears in a way that maybe she isn't comfortable with, you know, the people who are helping her train or a boyfriend who's right in there with her.
BURBANK: Yeah, because we had this update from her a week ago where she was talking about how terrifying once you get stuck in the snow with a busted tire, this and that. And then when she got on the show and she had been blogging about it, she already sounded like she was getting better, working past it, and feeling stronger.
CONAWAY: I think that conditioning herself to accept the fear and to keep going despite the fear is a big part of her training, you know, just learning to - what do you do when you're terrified? Keep going.
BURBANK: You turn to THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT blog is what you do, npr.org/bryantpark.
Laura Conaway, our online editor, thank you so much.
CONAWAY: Thank you.
STEWART: Two lessons on the way - one about grammar; one about what you can see at the movies. Stick around.