When I started this journey, I gathered everything I thought I needed to be prepared. As I’ve traveled, I’ve come to realize how many of those things haven’t been necessary. Even still, weight is a constant concern when bike touring. I’ve also learned that sometimes it’s best not to try and reinvent the wheel. I’m making reference to my bike, my stout, strong, Scott mountain bike. The thought of riding a 29” wheel bike was very appealing as they roll over all terrains much easier than smaller wheel bikes. While pulling the trailer, my bike did it’s job well. Now that I’ve sent my trailer back to Southern California, loaded the rest of my gear in the panniers and rode about 50 miles, I’ve learned that my high center of gravity, aluminum frame bike cannot handle the weight of my gear. Whether pedaling uphill or coasting downhill, the speed wobbles I’m experiencing feel like the frame is make of Jello. With the amount of traffic along the coast and every 4th vehicle an RV or logging truck, I realized that this is beyond unsafe when a logging truck created a gust of wind that pushed me into the guardrail. Fortunately I was in first gear going uphill slowly and nothing was broken or damaged.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I must change the game once again and build a touring bike, which is a smaller, steel frame bike. With the need to head south to help a client sell one home and buy another, I think it’s time to take a break from this adventure and then start again after taking care of my responsibilities and preparing a suitable bike.
I do have to say that the past few days have been wonderful. Giuseppe and I stayed with Jim and Vera, Warmshower.org hosts in Ilwaco, Washington and learned much about their 80 acre organic farm and the proper preparation of soil to yield the most delicious fruits and vegetables. They made an amazing dinner and breakfast for us using all of the things they grow and raise, including organic chicken and eggs.
After leaving Ilwaco, we crossed the 4 mile bridge into Astoria, Oregon. Fortunately we had a tailwind to help us, because the lack of a shoulder and the many vehicles crossing were intimidating.
I’d also like to acknowledge the guys at Bikes and Beyond in Astoria. My bags were delivered there and they helped me ship my trailer to Southern California at a very reasonable price with a shipper that specializes in bicycles.
From Astoria, we’ve come down the coast a ways, enjoying the beautiful scenery. I know I’m going to miss being outside all of the time, but I also know that will be temporary as I prepare for the Baja leg of this road trip. I can’t wait to reach Cabo and relax by the pool at a beautiful resort! With Giuseppe heading to Denver to take the citizenship test, we agreed to meet in Southern California and conquer Baja together. We have picked up another cyclist friend at this point, Jo-an from France. He’s headed to Los Angeles, but we’ve been telling him that he needs to experience Mexico with us since he’ll be so close… like Giuseppe has be telling me that I should continue the journey to Argentina. Hmmmm.
And so today I must figure out how to get to Portland to take a train down to Southern California. Part of me feels real bad about not being able to continue down through Oregon and California, but the other part of me knows I’d be foolish to do so at this point. Thank you for following me!