"We are all of us living in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." ~Oscar Wilde
"Adventure is worthwhile in itself." ~Amelia Earhart

May 28, 2009

Day One - Crap. Trip Postponed.

I left the house around 10 this morning. I planned to work my way over to Fort Snelling where I'd eventually cross the Mendota Bridge and make my way down to Cannon Falls, MN. Once I got to the trail that goes through Fort Snelling, I heard a loud KERPLUNK behind me.

'Oh, no,' I thought. 'The tire must have popped!'

I turned around to discover my rack, along with my sleeping bag, tent, and my panniers lying on the ground. Two of the screws that hold the rack in place had flown off. I muttered, pulled the rack back into its proper position, and started walking back the way I had come.I'm sure I'm trying to carry too much weight on my back rack. The thought occurred to me that I really do need to buy the front rack and panniers I've been eyeing. My intention was to get back to Minnehaha Falls where I could get a ride home. A few yards down the trail, though, a man hailed me and asked if everything was all right. Embarrassed, I nodded and said, "I'll be fine". He looked at me and the bike and offered to try to fix it. He mended it with a spare screw and a bit of string and I was able to ride the rest of the way home. I heart you, mysterious stranger! I'm so glad that that happened so close to home and not in the middle of eastern South Dakota.

So, the bicycle tour is postponed until I decide between two options:

1. Buy a front rack and panniers so that the weight is more evenly distributed and continue on with the bicycle tour in a week or so.

2. Buy a backpack, hiking shoes, and a bus ticket and visit the Black Hills that way.

I'm actually leaning toward option two. I don't trust my mechanical skills when it comes to the bicycle and I really don't need to see all those long, boring flatlands of eastern South Dakota.

* * *
Updated at 4pm: I'm going with option 1. I doubt I have the upper body strength to just throw myself into backpacking. I did briefly consider going with a third option. Wait a couple months and do Adventure Cycling's Great Rivers route from Minneapolis to Louisiana and then fly back. But, then, I looked at the cost to transport a bicycle on a plane. Eww, ouch. No.)

3 comments:

Mike Golch said...

option# 2 sounds safer,but you would get less exercise.

nipsy said...

Whoo hooo.. congrats to you. Just make sure in all your packing you add an emergency bike repair kit. They sell them at major bike shops. Its not very large, but could save you time and money.

Enjoy your adventure!

Ferd said...

Sorry so very late with this comment!
I hope by now you are well into a wonderful bike adventure.
Can't wait to hear some details!