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Riding a Glacier Trail? Mind the Porcupines.

Jill Homer of Juneau, Alaska, spent the past week dodging critters in the frozen wilderness. She's training for the cycling division of February's human-powered Iditarod, 350 miles of pedaling along the same course used by heroic sled dogs.

In the coming weeks, Homer needs to condition her body and mind to handle the elements — loneliness, darkness, cold, snow. She has to learn exactly which pieces of gear to take for the expected five-day venture. Well before she has to pitch a tent on the trail, she needs to have practiced establishing camp she's tired, sweaty and cold.

As she reports in this installment of her training diary, her biggest obstacles are turning out to be a lack of snow and an abundance of porcupines.

Jill Homer blogs at arcticglass.blogspot.com.

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