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May 10- Day 3
Wouldn't you know it. All last night it didn't rain (I know because when I had to use the little boy's room (a.k.a. a shrub) twice during the night it wasn't raining. But as soon as I wake up? Rain. I decide to sleep in a bit (it was only 5. It's almost 8 now and it's still raining. Eventually I'll just have to give in and leave regardless, but I hope to wait it out until 9 before going. Man it will be nice to get to Chilliwack.
It's 9 and still raining. I changed my mind and will wait until 10, I see lighter clouds on the horizon. I've got a slight headache (which I've had since midnight) right around the eyes. Thanks to being in a half decent shelter, most of my clothes are reasonably dry (but if the rain keeps up that won't last). It's surprisingly cold these past few days. I only hope it will change in a few days, so I can ride it out in Chilliwack.
In all this waiting I realize I should really have a book to read. I think I'll download a classic of the Internet when I get the chance.
Before I left (at 9:30) I gave the couple a thank you note with a poem:
Thank you for all you've done, In return I wish this for you: May all your travels be fun, And your compass always true.
Well hasn't this been a most interesting day... The rain never did let up, so I was drenched in 15 minutes. The traveling itself wasn't so hard, in fact after a while I was starting to enjoy it, despite the rain. After all, once you're totally wet, it's hard to get wetter. Nevertheless I donned a garbage bag over my torso at one of the gas stations at the suggestion of a sympathetic cashier.
Problems began when the Fraser Highway merged into the Trans Canada. The sign said no bikes going down, yet I've seen plenty of bike path signs on the number 1 before. Did I happen upon the only spot that wasn't? Well, screw it, I pushed on and hoped the cops didn't stop me.
At one of the exits off the highway (87) I had to walk the bike across. I get on to start peddling and BAM! The seat broke off! Though I never saw it coming, I should have. The clips that hold the seat to the frame were plastic, and not meant to take my weight plus two heavy knapsacks. In my attempt to be clever I overlooked the obvious. Now I need to either fix it with stronger clips, or get a rear pannier rack. The problem is such a rack tends to be specialized and I think I can only get the right one in Vancouver. Which means I might have to jury rig something anyways.
Do you ever get the idea someone is trying to tell you something? Maybe I need to lighten my load, but I am not sure how. When I'm in Chilliwack I'll be sure to work on all these problems. I'll be damned if I let this stop me!
But to be honest, I am having second thoughts. After all, there won't be any rescue service over the mountains. Am I the victim of bad luck or bad planning? Is there a cure for either? What's to prevent this from happening again? What if it happens while I'm biking at 50kph instead of just starting up? What else can go wrong? I think Locusts are next, if I remember my plagues correctly. I hope you understand why I feel like this. I shouldn't have had cause to be griping right off the bat, let alone continue for three days straight! That should have been saved for the hard part, the Rockies.
It figures all this happens right when it stops raining. Sheesh. Right now I'm inside the ABC Restaurant at Best Western off the side of Highway 1 drying off. While I was able to throw all my gear and even my bike over the fence (thanks to some helpful folks leaving the restaurant, I myself couldn't get over it. Too high and too wet. I had to go the loooong way around and then climb through several yards of fence and bramble to get here... I thought it was a short cut. I'm periodically trying to reach Tracy (by the way they were nice enough to offer me coffee while I wait). To be honest even with the jury rig repair I managed on the bike, I don't want to risk riding it fully loaded.
This is a list of what needs to be fixed or modified on the bike: Seat (duh), possible need for rear rack, rear fender (there is a gap near the front that allows my butt to get splashed, plus it needs to be half a foot longer since it splashes my knapsack still), front handlebar bag (a bit low), front right break lever (too low for quick grip), the thermarest needs a more stable place under the seat (easily fixed with velcro), the tires still need to be pumped to 100psi (they're only 90), weight and bulk need to be dealt with as well, but I have no clue what to do away with and what to keep. the chain needs a bit of lubing, and gear 7 is a bit iffy (but I don't think I can do anything about that without a tune up).
A note for those who think I'm a whiny cry baby who should shut up (Wyatt): When I write these entries I'm trying to be as honest as possible about the events of the day. This is how I feel, right or wrong. But I'm hoping that over the course of the journey my attitude might change. We'll have to wait and see.
Salvation! Tracy has picked me up and I'm in Chilliwack resting and recuperating. I hope to wait until the weather improves before continuing.
The bad news is, according to Tracy it will get worse before it gets better, regardless of when I leave, but once I'm over the costal mountains it should be very nice... until the Rockies that is...
Okay, that's it for now. I'll give an update about my stay in Chilliwack when I'm ready to leave.
Oh, one last bit of news. It seems that I lost my speedometer when I loaded the bike on the truck.
Time spent cycling: 4ish hour
Distance traveled: 45km (ish)
Total distance: 213km (ish)
Average Speed: 15ish kph
Maximum speed: 60ish kph
Current Location: Prest Road, Chilliwack. Home away from home.
Onto Day 4-8...