The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

This post was supposed to be titled Sleeping in the Forest of Endor but after yesterdays events it had to be changed.

The day started extremely well, camping in the Avenue of the Giants has got to be a highlight of the trip. I knew before going to sleep that I had broken a few spokes and that I would have to make it to a repair shop to try and get it sorted out. Instead when I woke up that morning Alistair and I went to the Founders Grove which was really something to see and worth the backtracking. After that we went in search of the Tallest Tree (in the world?) which meant more backtracking for us and getting my shoes, which were blissfully dry, soaking wet (as we had to cross a stream.) In all we biked 20 miles that morning only to arrive where we started. That was the good.

I then start off in search of the bicycle shop in Garberville (I had heard that it wasn’t the greatest bike shop, but at that moment anything would do) As i’m flying along on some of the larger hills I actually hear a PING as another spoke breaks and I learn to control my downhills. I make it there at 3 oclock or shortly thereafter and the guy agrees to look at it. Come to find out that there were 6 broken spokes out of 38 and he can only fix 5 of them because my wheel is too large. That was the Bad.

I got out of the bike shop shortly after 5 oclock and camp is another 25 miles away and mostly uphill which puts me in camp around 7:30, far after the sun has set. I started peddling for all I was worth only to hear more spokes breaking, which by now is utterly demoralizing (this is all happening in that cursed rear wheel again.) The sun sets behind the mountains I have to climb and things start getting dark and i’m afraid to ride my bicycle because I think the wheel will just cave in on itself with all these spokes breaking. Word of caution to the wise, it’s not prudent to walk along the 101 in the middle of the dark, you tend to get angry truckers honking their horn at you. That was the ugly.

The conclusion to the story ends a bit better. I started thumbing it with no luck when the sun set for quite a long time but kept on hiking the bike and keeping the thumb out just in case. Someone finally stopped and got me to the campsite which was 4 miles away, but felt like an eternity. As i’m reloading my bike to get the 100 ft to camp, Alistair and Tanya (both of who i’ve been camping with the last several days) are walking up to the bar where i’d gotten dropped off, it was great to hear them and quite the coincidence. We went back to the camp where I show off how easy and fast it is to set up the camping hammock (even in the dark!) We headed back to the bar and had some, read lots, of beer and burgers. Listened to some live music, and generally had a good time. It was a great way to end a bad day.

The postscript to the story goes I am now in Fort Bragg, California where i’ve just gotten another new rear wheel, I guess at this point I really should just hope it gets me to San Francisco but I can hope it lasts longer than that. I hitched a ride into town this morning because there was no way I could do the hill on that wheel. Such is the way the story goes.

I also wanted to post another cyclist that is doing a Pacific Coast tour. Fernando camped with us for about 5 days but left us at Harris Beach State Park when we took a break.

We’re all camping at Van Damme State Park tonight, and i’m making smores for the brit and the germans in camp with us to give them a taste of America