09/28 I was going to skip an update for today and write something tomorrow but there was a pretty serious accident and it certainly deserves some mention. For the last 4 days a group of about 12 riders, most of whom are doing a Portland/Seattle to San Francisco trip, have been meeting up at the same CG and hanging out.
The accident, as unfortunate as it was, started out as a joke. We all get along great and since it’s 90% guys there’s a lot of goofing off (and farting). One of the guys here makes a point of locking his bike up every night even though there’s really no need to. He even takes the front wheel off and locks that up too. Well tonight he enlisted one of the others guys, Dave, to help him really get it into a secure spot. I’m not sure the exact details because I was by my tent but basically Dave was standing below the bike while the other guy hoisted it 15 feet up into a tree using some rope. Well the rope came undone and down came the bike. The metal chain ring (thing with teeth that the chain wraps around) came down right on Dave’s chin and opened a 2 inch gash right down to the bone.
Obviously none of us have a car so we sent someone running up the front gate to call an ambulance. They got here pretty fast and took Dave to the hospital for repairs. This was after Dave had us pose for pictures while he’s laying on the ground and I’m cradling his head in my hand and trying to keep pressure on the wound. I think I’ll skip posting pictures of the cut but I saw it up close and it was freaking nasty. We’re all going to hang out here and wait for Dave to get back before leaving since we’re almost family now. It’s also good to stick together for protection against roving hippies.
So about the hippies… here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- They never sleep.
- They have no food.
- They have no means of transportation.
- They do horrible, disgusting things to bathrooms.
- They talk like pirates.
- They all have dreadlocks.
- They all have dogs.
- They think there should be no government (overheard while they were staying at a state-run campground).
- If there’s a free music festival they’ll be there.
- They appear in places you’d never expect them–sometimes I’ll be riding in the middle of nowhere and I’ll happen to glance up in the treeline and there’ll be a hippie sitting there. That always freaks me out.
Last night we couldn’t even sleep at the hiker/biker area in the state park because the hippies had overrun it. We took a normal camp site and split the $35. One of the girls, Sara, arrived at the camp just after I did and before she could even make it over to where I was a hippie asked her if she had any food. I warned her about doing this because I saw the South Park where they gave a hippie $20 and within hours the entire area was flooded with them.
Enough about hippies though. Most of the riding has been on Hwy 101 which went from a pretty laid back road to a freeway. The freeway parts have sucked. Any chance to jump off it and take a side road I took. One great detour was through the Avenue of the Giants. This 32 mile road winds through huge redwood forests and along Elk river. Lot’s fun things to see in this area. One thing was the 1000 year old “Immortal tree” as they call it. There was also the Bigfoot gift shop that has the worst tasting well water I’ve had.
For the last 2 days the temperature has been over 100 F. Made for some very hot riding on the open road with no shade. Even going down hill offered no relief. Waves of heat would just pummel you. There’s also been a bout of deadly green algae bloom in rivers here. Knowing this a couple of us still went down to the river to see if we could go swimming (that fast parts didn’t have the algae build up). No luck though. The water was too shallow.
Made it back to the coast this morning and onto US 1 after some big climbs. Actually broke 4100 feet in elevation gain for the day.
Oh and I fell for the first time yesterday. I was going about 1 mph when, and I’m not making this up, a hippie started coming up the road toward me when I was making a pretty sharp turn. Not sure why I stopped but I did and started tipping over. Then I couldn’t get unclipped from my pedal so down I went. Nothing broke but I messed up the tape on my handlebar pretty good. It was pretty embarrassing. First fall on my entire trip.
Tonight I heated up the corkscrew on my Swiss army knife and drilled 4 holes into my leather bike seat. Then I took some tie wraps and pulled the bottom flaps in tighter so they don’t rub against my thighs when I’m riding. I’ve been meaning to do this since seeing the Brooks Imperial saddle that already has lacing builtin that does this. Hope it helps.
Dinner tonight (pre-accident) was amazing. 3 of the guys here made burritos for everyone and we ate like kings.