Homecoming 

The trip north is over. I’ve reached as far as I am willing to go for this year. I’ve booked my train home, and will be visiting a friend in route. But the journey isn’t over! I will be spending a month back home to recover my resolve and determination. Soon after I will be heading back out on the road. Once I reach Texas, I will reconfigure my setup with new bags and equipment, and head towards the East coast. This time around I will shoot for something more plausiable. Florida sounds a whole lot better than Alaska. 

I must admit I am addicted to bicycle travel, and I want to see the world. I want to keep adapting my technique, I need to! I enjoy the challenge of figuring my way though the terrain. The weather in North California has won, I am calling for a tactical retreat. The rain and cold are too much, and as to respect the Gods of storm and sun, I am heading south. The geese are also finally heading south, I hear them migrating about every morning. The last group should be heading out soon. 

Winter was late this year around, the bitter chill hasn’t really hit. It seems to be lagging behind at a sloths pace. Languidly gaining speed as the days become shorter, and the sun ever more rare. I am relieved to be heading home, as the snow begins to fall, I am anxious to arrive and pass by the higher altitudes of the Nevada mountain range. What would it have felt like to endure those freezing temperatures? Could I have made it though the winter out on the range? 

“I am not equipped for this,” is the resounding excuse that repeats in my mind. When the day is quiet, that line seems to scream at me. If I’m going to endure it, I need an area to practice in. Spending a couple days out in the freeze, and having a place to comfortably call home would allow me to gather the skills to confront winter. This year I will give in, and migrate. Next year will soon be over, and I’ll have another chance. Until then, I’ll move closer to the equator. 

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2 Replies to “Homecoming ”

  1. Really really feel inspired. Though I personally have a hard time taking baby steps. Purchased a bike last year from The Newark Bike Project, here in Delaware. I barely know how to change gears klet alone perfome maintenance. Would love to travel long distance on my bicycle.

    Lost my father almost two years ago. Would love to find strength to do this. Especially on my own. As an inexperienced female, I am not quite sure.

    How did you figure out how to prep yourself, your bike, and ear? Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of information available on the internet, even locally.

    Did you meet any solo female cyclists on your route?

    Was your first bike repair on the road…scary?

    Cheers to you! Such an amazing journey. Keep it up. You are inspiring so many.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Considering your background I am going to take a freedom here that few may have, please forgive me if I seem rude.

      I’m going to cut you short, there are no baby steps. Accepting that there is a gradual progression to things will keep you from trying anything at all. If you have an end goal of touring, then do what is within your power and experience. But make sure you do something.

      I never expected myself to ride across the nation. I just got up one day and left.

      At first, I had no idea how bicycles worked, so I bought a book to read. Didn’t know what gear I would need, so I bought whatever felt comfortable.

      Everything I did felt great and momentous.

      As for strength? I took my grief and poured it into what I was doing. I shoved all that pain way down into my legs and decided, “I want to ride my bike to some mountains, I want to see big trees and clear water.” My strength was the fact that I had lost it all. What else was there that could hurt me? I knew I was stuck and all I could do was immerse myself into a project.

      It took me a whole year of fidgeting with things, learning about bicycle components and what not before I ever decided to ride for long distances. And at that, I only road three days away from home. I rarely looked up anything on the internet, basically because I didn’t have a computer or a phone capable of it. I just jumped in and started to ride. Searched for things at the store that would solve my problems and tested them out.

      I didn’t meet many other bicycle tourist, let alone female riders. And my first bike repair wasn’t scary at all. I had my whole work bench strapped onto my bike frame, which was of course over kill. But I took my time, and allowed myself the time I needed to learn. I prepared myself by heading in head first with an arsenal of equipment I never used.

      Thank you, I hope this helps. If you need anything else please don’t hesitate to ask. You can always reach me on my twitter @cyclingrambler_

      Like

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