Thoughts – After The Journey

THOUGHTS – After The Journey:

(in no particular order of anything, just quick blurbs to further yank you along on this page)

The NEMO Obi one-person tent, brand new on this journey, was everything I had hoped it would be. I absolutely love this tent, and it will most definitely accompany me on every future trike trek. It is ultra light, sets up far easier and faster than any tent I’ve ever seen or used, allows me to sit up to get dressed inside, and disappears into the night if the green fly is not installed (the tent is black and gray, perfect for trike phantoms who do not wish company in the wilds).

The SIDI Dominator 5 mountain bike shoes, brand new on this journey, far exceeded my expectations for what a trike shoe should be. On prior overland trike journeys, I have had issues with Nerve Compression Syndrome, what riders on the street call hot spots. These shoes easily made that a non-issue, being by far the most comfortable I have ever worn. The hard soles did the trick, and the fine Italian craftsmanship makes them feel like an expensive leather glove. With the binding attachment cleats all the way rearward, NCS was a thing of the past.

By the time I arrived at Rancho Relaxo, I was 10 pounds lighter in bodyweight than when I left the central Oregon coast, which meant my rolling weight on the trip (total weight I had to pedal up every darn hill out there) was about 255 instead of 265 by the end of the journey. These trips consume at least 5,000 calories on a typical day, sometimes upwards of 7,000 depending on how many hours I ride, and taking in that much food simply does not happen out on the open road. By the time I arrived in Atascadero, at 150 pounds instead of 160, I was indeed, as some have referred to me, the lean green riding machine.

Total financial cost of this insane triangular journey was $398. This was not determined from receipts or intricate record-keeping, as I no longer am a mental prisoner of old IRS fear tactics to keep receipts for seven years. Nope, I know the financial damage because of the cash in my wallet. I do not spend with a credit card, using only the green stuff. At the rancho, I counted the money in my wallet, and there were 398 fewer dollars in there than when I began 19 days earlier. I spent $5 per night at campgrounds for the hiker/biker camps, except for at Humbug Mountain, where I treated David and myself to a regular campsite to be right next to the new shower facility (besides, David had just lost all his money when it fell out of his pocket somewhere on Highway 101, so I took pity on the poor soul). By a wide margin, the majority of money went to the Safeway supermarket chain, as well as other smaller markets, for such things as Mountain Gold Canadian granola, Odwalla protein monster drinks (made in Half Moon Bay by the way), expensive trail mixes with nuts and raisins, bananas, strawberries, and buckets of cherry tomatoes. One might argue that they could drive those 875 miles for far less money invested in gasoline – yes, but could they take a 19 day vacation for what I spent?

I prefer riding with a companion, but solo works out well too. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Partnership makes the hardships less frightening, but generally slow down progress. Of course, having someone to talk to keeps the mind more or less in the mental territory of sanity. Solo riders are known to be prime candidates for mental hospitals by the end of the trip – that was the real reason for ending the trail in Atascadero, for there is a men’s state mental hospital there (but that’s another story). No, it wasn’t Rancho Relaxo!

Once again, I suffered no flat tires en route. My choice of Schwalbe Marathon PLUS tires, Earthguard tire liners, and Kenda heavy duty flat-resistent Qtubes is the winning combination that so far as kept me rolling along mile after thousands of miles. They all just work … period! Learn it here, or learn it out on the road under less ideal and convenient circumstances.

For overland trike journeys, use a 26-39-52 front chainring combination. On the rear, have an 11-34 mountain bike cassette. Do not pull a trailer under any circumstances. Have fun, pedal easy, go fast. The kitchen sink is not recommended. Experience is the only teacher, for most of us!

I want a faster trike for my next trek, something with a 26 inch or 700C rear wheel. I got tired of being passed by loaded roadies who were far less physically fit than I am, but were making quick work of me on the uphill sections of the PCH, of which there were many (many uphill sections and many roadies flying past me). I will further refine my packing paradigm. I brought stuff this trip I could have done without, so I continue to learn. Riding fast and easy is what it’s all about out there folks (it ain’t the Hokey Pokey). Pedaling in agony every day is no one’s idea of fun!

Cost of gasoline on this journey of 875 miles was zero, nothing, zip. Yes, in the year 2013, when our sedentary, lazy, and unhealthy society understands no other way of human transportation other than toxic waste emission machines called automobiles, these tricycle expeditions again clearly demonstrate that cars are only a learned habit of addiction. For most of human history, the car did not exist. We have come to redefine our living paradigm based around the destruction of our finite and fragile air supply. If you simply cannot break yourself of the habit, either: A) use only an all electric car, or B) offset your petrol car using certified carbon offset countermeasures through TerraPass or the Nature Conservancy. We live in a closed environmental system folks! Once this air supply is sufficiently sullied, our time as a species is over. If we cannot breathe, we cannot be!

Regarding my shoes. I wear SIDI Dominator 5 mountain bike shoes with the Shimano cleat attachment system. I place the shoe attachment points all the way rearward on the shoe sole, which has worked beautifully at eliminating former “hot spot” issues on long rides. Hot spots are essentially Nerve Compression Syndrome, which damages nerves and blood vessels running down the bottom of the foot, next to the ball.

shoe-cleat-placementI used to run the cleats all the way forward, which only served to make NCS worse. On the PCTA, I ran the cleats all the way to the rear, and suffered NO hot spots (Nerve Compression Syndrome) or other foot related issues.