Slowly the reality of my situation is creeping in. In less than a week we depart! So much to do in the interim. Pack up a house and put it in storage. Finish a few pressing illustration assignments. Get work done on the Long Haul Trucker. These things will be forgotten about when we get on the road.
But being on the road is a whole different mindset and lifestyle. Days dominated by riding, eating, breaking, repeat. Thinking about food and where we’re going to stop. Creating “home” every night in a different place. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that the days of coming back to the apartment in the evening and just putzing around are over. So I’m trying to savor these moments, as it will be months before we return to this semblance of normality.
I know that once I’m on the road I’ll get used to these things, even if they can wear over time. I’ll get used to having a limited, basic amount of possessions. I’ll get used to having a few pairs of clothes to wear day in day out for months. I won’t think much about the things I’m putting away. But every once in awhile I will wish I had access to something that I can’t get.
And even though this trip will have lots of cycling (and I’ll get real personal with the Long Haul Trucker), I’m going to miss the Raleigh Wayfarer. The bike has grown on me. What was once a $30 Craigslist score six months ago with the intention of being a fun “project” has grown into my daily rider. Months ago I worried about the hundreds of dollars I was investing into this bike, wondering if I would even like the thing. Now months later I don’t regret a penny spent. But in a few days the bike will be put away, not to be ridden until at least November.
So I’ve been getting in as much riding time with the Raleigh as possible. And thankfully the weather finally got good this week–sunny days with highs in the 70’s. Late spring, finally.
Of course this story has to have a bittersweet ending. The rear wheel broke a spoke the other day. Jim at Oregon Bike Shop didn’t have a replacement spoke (go weird wheel size!) but removed the offending spoke and somehow managed to true it so the wheel is somewhat “straight”. But I know this is a temporary fix, replacing the spoke or not. I knew months ago that the wheel wasn’t good and was living on borrowed time. I knew that at some point I’d have to get the wheel rebuilt or replaced. I just hoped I wouldn’t have to think about it until I returned from my trip.