A few months ago, the Sloth and I decided to recreate last year’s PCRT camp out. Various scheduling conflicts pushed the trip back a few weeks this year, and we missed the fall leaves this time.
Mrs. Sloth kindly agreed to shuttle us up to the north end of the trail. After fiddling with our panniers for a few minutes, we were under way by about 11:00.
After a few miles, we encountered a momma bear with two cubs crossing the trail. We stopped our bikes to exchange pleasantries, but she was in rather a hurry with pre-hibernation errands to run. She led her cubs off the trail before we even had time to get our cameras out.
We spent the rest of the day rolling along, taking in the sights, shooting the breeze about various things, and taking numerous snack breaks.
Before long, it became obvious that darkness would find us before we found out camp site. We did not figure into our calculations that last year’s ride occurred before the daylight saving time change. Not that it was anything to be concerned about, since we were both rocking dynohubs. Along the way, the Sloth’s headlight cable got tangled in his spokes, which rendered his headlight unusable. We were able to find our way into camp by the light from my headlight without incident.
After we set up camp, we sat down to some fine Esbit-warmed cuisine.
With full bellies and many hours of darkness to while away before bedtime, we scavenged about for some firewood. The area around the camp site was picked pretty clean by previous campers, but we found enough to keep a small fire going until about 9:00. When the fire went out, we went to bed.
The morning sunlight revealed a huge pile of firewood in an unoccupied camp site a few yards from ours. We muttered curses under our breaths and made some breakfast and coffee. I made a pot from some Java Juice packets I brought along in an effort to save weight.
The Sloth is thankfully a bit more picky about his caffeine than I am, and produced from his panniers a french press and some freshly ground fancy-pants coffee from India. It put my java juice to shame.
We got rolling again, and passed a lot more cyclists than we had the day before. We passed a fellow heading the opposite direction, and a few seconds later, came across what appeared to be a blowdown.
Closer inspection revealed the truth. We were under attack by crazed beavers.
We moved the tree off the trail, and continued on our way.
Near the end of the trail, I was starting to have some problems with my hands and my butt. I looked down at the GPS on my handlebars (I was getting a trace for OpenStreetMap), and noticed that our moving average speed was somewhere around 10mph. It occurred to me that maybe drop-handebar touring bicycles are not the optimal equipment for a leisurely ride like this. Maybe there is a better piece of equipment for this.
I have long been of the opinion that bicycle technology was essentially perfected in the late 1970’s. I’m now hypothesising that it may, in fact, have been perfected fifty years earlier.
I’ll find out shortly.