Day 9: Lessons in time-space management

One thing I’ve learned is to plan contingencies for the unexpected: bad weather, mechanical delays, injuries… You just need to have time to cover for them.

On the morning of Day 9, I realized I had zero margin for error to get to San Francisco, including a crazy 40 mile early morning ride the day of my flight back. It’s possible… I could have pushed, but I also knew that south of the redwoods (about 60 miles from Eureka), cell phones stop working for hundreds of miles, wifi is barely there, and my ability to juggle any one of a tour’s possible delays became near impossible.

So, I made the tough decision to pull the chord on the original plan… I’ll now slow way down and tour the Avenue of the Giants and Redwood State Park for a few days, then bike north to Eureka to ship the Goblin back to Portland, and then rent a car to drive to SF. I am doing this all Tuesday so I can get a chance to lift a glass with some Bay Area friends.

I look at my map and realize this has been an amazing adventure, and in some ways getting the chance to slow down and savor a 60 mile area for a few days is downright luxurious. It’s all just a little different than planned, but that’s life.

MJ is pushing on. With no deadlines of his own, he is still planning on heading to the Mexican border with family and friend stops in San Francisco and the L.A. area. It’s been a great trip and I know it’ll be odd to finish things without the mysterious one… but we’ll cycle together again.

A few highlights:

– MJ got his second flat within 2 days. This reinforced the wisdom of my decision… he’s had 2 flats in 3500 miles on this trip and they’ve clustered here. The road detritus in CA includes the sharp wires from radial tires, and they get through our Schwalbe Marathon tires that can stand up to nearly everything else.

– While flat repairs took place, I picked wild blackberries. I haven’t done that since I was a kid and it felt oddly centering. I might be doing more of that this weekend.

– Our campground is amongst enormous sequoias along the famed Avenue of the giants. It’s home for a few days… Not bad!

MJ Tip of the Day
F*ck it, we’ll do it live!