So I didn’t really want to mention it since I know y’all probably worry too much, but when I was on route 3 I had a little bit of an accident. With all of the traffic and narrow roads, I saw a logging truck coming up behind me fast, and I wanted to give him as much room as possible. I thought I could get just an inch or two off of the shoulder, but no! That soft grass had some really soft dirt under it, and down I went- off the road, not into it! I scraped my knee a little, and I was mostly embarrassed about it. A car pulled over and a guy quickly asked if I was OK. My bike seemed good, and I knew I didn’t hurt myself badly, so I thanked him and went on my way. No big deal!
Anyway, I went on to Shelton for lunch, had a nice rest, and set off on the next 30 miles to Elma (where I am now). I went through some more of these clear cut areas, and all I could think was:
But it wasn’t all like that. I also saw some cool wildflowers. Anybody know what these are called? There were tons of them.
Back to my mishap. If you’d been riding beside me for the next few miles, about ten miles outside of Elma, what you would have heard was, “PING…… Awe shit!.
That’s right, I broke a spoke. It turns out that I broke two spokes, the first one apparently happened when I took my fall, and the wheel was out of whack for 40 miles. It further turned out that although I had spare spokes, I had neglected to bring the spline required to remove my gears, so there wouldn’t have been a way to fit the new spoke into the hub. I tried, though, and I looked for a way to McGyver something, but it wasn’t happening. What I decided to do was to adjust my spoke tension to the best of my ability (such as it is), and try to ride gently for ten miles. I filled my daypack with heavy things from the panniers and lashed it to my handlebars, kept my speed low, never used the back brake, stood up a lot, and just did whatever I could think of to minimize the forces going through those spokes. It helped that the roads were quite flat and smooth, low in traffic, and free of bumps, and my efforts worked well enough that I made it to the hostel. The folks running it let me know that there’s a bus to Olympia that only costs $2 each way, and suggested a bike shop. My other option was to try to ride gingerly to Centralia, which didn’t sound as safe or fun as I’d like, and I think I will have better luck getting what I need in a bigger city with more bike shops. While I am there I will look for better options to keep weight up front.