It seems like far more than two months since I returned from my Great Divide adventure, partially because the deep sense of mourning for the trip that I initially felt has finally begun to fade. I’ve been settling back into my normal life, the school year, and becoming just a Bike Commuter instead of a Bikepacker. (Back to my roots–first and always most of all, I’m an intrepid 4-season commuter.)
My re-entry into regular-world cycling was interrupted by two big things:
First, I had almost constant knee pain for my first month and a half after returning. It seemed to be exacerbated by being back on my commuter (with only NINE measly gears on my cassette….32tooth? you kidding?). It felt like every time I rode, my knees would hurt for 2 days afterward, even though I was barely climbing 500ft/day.
Second, one morning during only my second week back to work, I had a front rack fail and fall on my wheel. I went over the handle bars, hitting my face, shoulder, and both my hands. That meant almost three weeks off the bike while my hands and shoulder recovered enough to ride comfortably again. Another argument for the rack-free bikepacking set-up, I suppose. However, the weeks spent off the bike were probably really good for my knees, which are now feeling great.
Throughout all this, I was dealing with some pretty intense feelings of boredom and frustration with my comparatively monotonous life–common after big adventures, I’d guess. I explained to my friends the best parts, the hardest parts, and the funny little tales of the trail. I described my trail friends and camping setup, and laughed at the fact that I never built a fire in the 6 weeks–not even once. But most of all, I started making a mental list of where next summer’s adventure is going to take me. 😉
This is just a bit of a journal-y update, I guess. I’m good, I’m biking. I’m currently participating in the Coffeeneuring Challenge (a challenge to ride your bike to coffee shops), and gearing up my cold-weather gear and fortitude for Freezing Saddles. I’m upgrading my Surly to a 2×10 (from 2×9) and putting V-brakes on her (to replace junky old cantis), after being spoiled by disc brakes and my amazing gear range this summer.
Also, this happened:
. . . and this . . . .
Finally, I’m also DEEP into plans for next summer’s Bike Adventure–West Coast? Oregon? Vermont? Virginia? We’ll see 🙂