MO2NO -3

3

I finally got almost everything packed into the trailer last night, and this morning I got up bright and early to try it out on the road. It’s heavier than I had wanted it to be — food weighs a lot, and I think I need to cut back from 4 spare sets of bike clothes to 2. Still, the bike & trailer combination weighs about 53 pounds, so the gear itself is around 40. I was hoping for 30, but I’ve tried riding with 50, and it was manageable.

So at 5:40 AM, I headed out onto highway C, and turned down Pocahontas Main. The first setback was the sign that had been planted by the side of the road: “Fresh Oil.” This means “Tar”, actually. I remembered that I’d seen paint marks bracketing cracked places in the asphalt recently, and apparently they’ve gotten around to fixing them. I started down the steep hill leading west from town, and saw fresh tar down at the bottom going all the way across the road. No, thanks. About then the big brown dog that lives halfway down the hill came running out and barking as usual. I got to the bottom, turned around, and started back up. Slowly, in granny gear, because I’m pulling all that weight. Big Brown Dog took this as a sign of weakness, I guess, and ran up barking again … and the son of a bitch (lit.) bit me on the leg. I yelled at him and he backed off, and I continued to the top of the hill. Checking the leg, it was just a couple of scratches, but definitely bleeding*.

I thought of going and having a word with the owner, but a) wanted to get in my ride and b) figured said owner was unlikely to be at his best at 5:45 AM. So I went ahead and rode — a total of a bit over 20 miles, with a brisk south wind and lots of hills. Average speed: 14.5 mph, a little better than I’ve been figuring on for hilly country. The best news is that I had it up to nearly 30 mph going down hills a couple of times, and it was very stable — no oscillation, indicating I’ve been successful at getting the weight toward the back.
I’m going to drop in on the neighbors a bit later.

Meanwhile, we’re going to celebrate Hannah’s birthday today (a week early, but she’s here), so I need to bake a cake and wrap presents.

*Yes, I washed it out thoroughly when I got home and put antibiotic ointment on it.

2 Responses to “MO2NO -3”

  1. Jade says:

    I’m rooting for you!!! What an amazing adventure. Have you heard of a book called, “Blue Highways” by William Least Heat Moon? It’s a truck instead of a bike, but your trip made me think of it…P.S. Cabell and I had a great time together during her visit.

  2. Allen says:

    Thanks, Jade. I actually did read Blue Highways, although it’s been a while. Glad to hear you had a good time with Cabell.

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