Disclaimer: For me, a trip report is never finished - it is an on-going work in progress. This is more polished than the "draft" but has far to go, which I don't have time to do at the moment. So, rather than not put it "up" on the web, I'll just make excuses for it's needing serious editing. :-)
Additionally, although I've been drawn into the world of :-)'s in email, I've resisted using them in my journal. Hopefully I have been able to convey my emotions without resorting to periods, colons, parentheses, dashes and the like.
This truly is a personal trip journal, not a trip report and therefore contains some of the tedious detail of a journal. I have reworked it a bit so that prying eyes might share in my travel experience. Inasmuch as it is a journal, it is of necessity different from a trip report. My philosophy with my biking trips is that my bike is my vehicle, and very little else. Except in unusual situations, I do not dwell on the mechanics of my "vehicle." My trips are about the interactions of people, places, and environment, not my equipment.
Eventually I hope to extract an article from this material, so please respect my copyright.
My injury: As alluded to in my journal, on June 21st, at mile 195 of the Los Angeles Double Century, I took a tumble. It was night (9:15 or so) on Pacific Coast Highway as I was headed "back to the barn" feeling energetic and psyched that I was going to finish this, my second double century, in better time than I finished the Davis Double a month previously. I had a light, and was riding with someone else who had a very good light. Somehow, in our not-very-fast pace, he (and his good light) got a few bike lengths ahead of me. Next thing I knew, I was thinking as I was flying through the air and headed for a belly-flop on the pavement shoulder to my right, "There he goes...I'm all alone here," and "This is going to be a bad fall...I'll probably get very hurt." (It's incredible how fast you can think these things during those few seconds of being airborne.)
Fortunately, I sustained only one very bad cut (my big chain ring curved its way up my right leg, creating a 5 inch "pinked" (as in "pinking shears" - 20 stitches to close up) wound in the middle of my inner calf, a skinned- to-the-patella knee wound, a very bruised elbow, chin, and sternum, and road rash on my hip.
As a slow healer in the best of circumstances, and with some medical treatment errors in this, it was very much in question whether I would to be able to ride anything in three weeks time, much less sustained off-road touring. But feistiness and determination paid off, and I rode The Donkey away from the Glacier International Airport, fully loaded with gear.
Moral of this story: Ride at night with a bright light, not a very light weight one.
Trek 8700 mt. bike (carbon frame) - 19". For a True Mt. Bike, this is probably slightly on the large size. For touring, it fit me well. Nicknamed, cleverly by my daughter, Donkey Xote (as in Don Quijote). We, The Donkey and I [sometimes referred to by a friend as DX - not in reference to Shimano], do joust at windmills.
Tires - well, there is a whole treatise about this....
Racks: Front Low-rider rack and rear Expedition rack (both Blackburn).
Saddle - Brooks-66 (love those springs!)
Bars - flat.
Suspension - none. I didn't miss it, and have no plans to add front shocks.
Tent - North Face "Tadpole" (1991).
Sleeping bag - North Face "Cornice" (1997) (Killed me to not take my down bag, but I've had it with damp down and condensation.)
Therma-Rest 3/4 Stay-tek Delux Limited Edition (1996).
Panniers - Rear: Madden "TransAm" (1991-no longer made). Front: Lone Peak (1991 - still in production).
Handlebar Bag - Lone Peak. I will not take it next year. Too heavy.
Stove: MSR Whisperlite International (1991). It wasn't set up right for Coleman Fuel so it was sent home. (Works fine at home with the proper fuel jet attached.)
Clothing and other Equipment:
Similar to my Bike Touring Gear List on my web page.
Copyright Judith J. Colwell, 1997. All rights reserved.
Last Updated: May 14, 1998