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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Laying Low, Easing In, and Itching to Ride

Spotted at SE 28th Ave and Brooklyn St, Portland. 11/20/11
Hello friends. Since my spectacular bike crash on Thursday night, November 17th, I've been taking it easy and keeping a low profile. And that hasn't been that hard, since I'm currently unemployed and had no obligations to fulfill over the weekend.

The healing process has been working its thing. My upper lip was pretty swollen on Friday, then subsided Saturday. As of now (Monday night the 21st) it is still slightly swollen. The wound above my lip has scabbed over. My right knee was quite swollen and a bit painful on Friday but the swelling has gone down. I've mostly hobbled around the house, though I've made a daily trek outside for groceries and to get the Long Haul Trucker checked out. One of the great things about where I currently live is that I'm two blocks from a food co-op and a bike shop; how's that for convenience!

I've kept off the bike for three days due to the knee. On Monday I made my first journey on two wheels since the crash. I wanted to see how both my knee and my bike were handling. Both did well. I was a little nervous and shaky as one tends to be on the first few rides after an accident. (I did ride after I crashed, but I was full of adrenaline then.) I'm taking baby steps with getting back into riding; Monday's journey was a 2.5 mile (4 km) round-trip. Each day I hope to increase the mileage a little bit more. I hope I'm in good biking shape by the weekend because I plan to go bike camping.

Bike camping? In late November? After a 4,000 mile bike tour?

Yep. Despite the road taking its toll, I'm itching to get out there again. I was thinking how I could do that at this time of year with my limited (read: no) finances. And then Matt Picio put out the call last Thursday for those interested in biking out to the Clackamas River in Mt. Hood National Forest this Saturday. The Clackamas is a beautiful area, and a favorite bike camping destination for many of us due to its scenery and access: it's about 30 miles (50 km) from the eastern suburbs. As for its beauty, I'll let some of these photos from Brad Reber speak for that.
It won't be this dry and warm this weekend. Photo: Brad Reber
Doesn't this look like fun? Photo: Brad Reber

Of course it's going to be cold* this weekend, highs maybe 45F (7C), lows maybe 35F (2C). And damp.  (There is the chance of a little snow at the elevation we'll be camping.) And dark early. Not exactly the most conducive conditions for camping. But I've been wanting to try my hand at off-season camping for awhile. I've done it once: March of 2010 I decided to trek up to Battle Ground Lake for an overnight. Unfortunately I did it alone, so it wasn't as fun as I hoped it to be. This time there will be company, and hopefully a good fire, something to keep us warm. Hopefully the ride still happens. And I'm ready for it.

*Yeah, we know how cold it is in the upper Midwest right now, thankyouverymuch.

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