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I'm cycling north, it seems sac religious to cover ground I already have but that's the way life turns out sometimes. My body hurts, some of the pains are from the bike, others from a summer of wrecking my body to earn a few freedom chips but how free are you if your too wrecked to cash them in.

Three days of oppressive heat with a total of 23 hours in the saddle are followed by what should be several short but challenging days. Nothing is ever as it looks on paper. I'm not sure what is causing me more pain, my quads or my ass but my neck is sore, my fore arms, palms and back. I'm still learning to ride this bike but I must say we are crushing it when we're not being crushed. As usual I'm the odd man out based off of what bike I've chosen for the task. I'm called crazy 10 times a day but just like on the Brompton, they ask a million questions.

With hydraulic brakes and all that rubber it isn't uncommon for me to keep up with the cars on the downhills, throw in even a slight headwind though and it's over. It's only been 10 days but I still can't find my groove, although I am
Close. I've easily stayed within my $25.00 per day budget so far but I'm not putting in half as much fuel as I'm expending and I can feel it. I really wish I understood food better.

The curse that pulled me off the trail last year showed up before I even left the island. I never should of tried this but I'm desperate not to live my old life anymore. I fantasize on the big climbs of buying a shit banger Subaru and driving straight to southern Colorado for some real bikepacking Not this pavement stuff. A logging truck blasts it horn though my soul bringing me back to reality, brrrrrrnnnnneeeeeewaauueee. It's so wet with fog I can barely see through my glasses, I've been shivering for two hours, I'm hungry, tired and soaking. I didn't know it could be this cold and damp. I pull over for a ciggi and a short nap on the side of the hwy. a quick check tells me Chika is in top condition but I'm not, I pamper her but put her through the ringer at the same time, now I need some more pampering.

Being too cheap to pay $31.00 for a camp site I continue down the road against my body's wishes. I find a gem deep in the redwoods but something doesn't feel right. No, his place is the spawn of the devil, hair Stands on the back of my neck a chill runs up my spine but I don't know why. I feel eyes on me like I'm being watched because I am. The deeper I ride the worse it gets. Trash piles, rotten tents, no cars… shit I'm in a homeless camp for prison castaways. I'm deep now, trapped in a maze of desperate people. There is no way back. I hear a loud yell, I'm being summonsed. I turn and two thugs are coming at me fast, I have everything I own in the world on this bike. I throw them the bird. Let out a ripping cakaaawww and down shift. I pedal off the road and into the forest. Hoping and jumping roots involuntary whoops of joy escape between deep focused breaths. We are in our element, running from the devil and unstoppable. A big drop in and we find the road, I turn left, north because that's what I'm familiar with and that's what I need today, a little familiarity.

I end up paying $38.00 for a crap site in a KOA campground, get the worst nights sleep so far with drunk and stoned hippies keeping me up till well past three. I wake up and feel like shit, it's cold and I hurt. I saddle up and continue the ride in search of my new home, this obviously isn't it…

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