That feeling when my rear wheel is not tracking behind the front wheel. I’m fishtailing. It’s as if the rear of the bike has become unhinged from the front. The best thing to do is power through it, hoping the rear wheel will catch a grip on something soon.
Then there’s the surprise sand. I’m clipping along and the terrain looks solid, but NO! It’s sand. It swallows the wheels, halting momentum before I have time to downshift. If I’m lucky I’ve remembered to take a foot out of the pedal straps. A few times I don’t do this in time and the bike and I do a jerky dance as we’ve come to a stop and my feet are caught in the pedals. This ends with a slow motion fall to the ground as one. For once, I’m glad to be in sand because at least it’s a soft landing.
I must have gotten on and off my bike 100 times today. As I dragged my bike through the sand my pedal nicked at my calf and shin, making bloody sand tracks as the blood dripped down my leg.
We ride with the old-timey Brooks saddles, the leather molds over time and miles to a custom made impression of our backsides. The leather is hard to the touch so it usually surprises people to hear that our bike seats are, for the most part, comfortable. They have to be. We certainly wouldn’t have made it this far if the very thing cradling our privates for 16,000 miles was a torture devise.
But miles of washboard roads has transformed my saddle into a hard paddle that whacks my butt with each rippling bump, for hours at a time, until my sit bones are so sore I don’t dare put my weight on the saddle. I try to hover but this position is not sustainable, so I bounce painfully along, trying to keep most of my weight on the pedals, half sitting, half standing, hoping for smoother roads ahead.
Our saving grace today was the tailwind has retuned. Thank you Mother Bolivia, we needed the extra push.
We are camped tonight up on this windy bluff: