In October I started working part time back at Sigma in DC, so I figured having a vehicle there throughout the winter would be advantageous. Graced with a beautiful weekend (by November standards in New England anyway) I decided to ride the Camel south. This little trip also served to complete my full circle tour of the US and Canada. Seven months, 11,200 miles, 27 states, 4 provinces, and about 80 gas stops later I pulled back into the parking lot I left on April 23rd.
The “beautiful weekend” meant an early morning start from Rockland in below freezing temperatures. I’d sewn some makeshift handlebar insulators out of thermos jackets the night before, and remarkably the riding wasn’t too bad. The sun was shining and the slowish pace of Route 1 kept things tolerable, especially with the five hundred layers of clothing and ridiculous scarf I was wearing.
Twenty miles into the ride the front tire blew. Luckily there was an abandoned tire shop nearby that I pulled into to make the repairs. There are times when preparedness really pays off – in less than an hour I had the tire off the bike, tire off the rim, innertube changed, tire reinstalled and pumped up, and was on my way – all with tools and spare parts on the Camel. And by that time I had warmed up enough to really get into the ride!
Finally on the road and ready to put some miles down, I noticed at a lunch stop in Massachusetts that the rear tire was much balder than I had realized. Still on edge from the morning’s incident I decided it needed to be replaced ASAP. After some searching I found a dealership in Worcester and arrived just in time for them to install a new tire and innertube before Saturday’s closing time.
With peace of mind in the Camel’s connection to the road, it was time to make some time and get south. The evening’s ride was uneventful and ended with a good night’s sleep in Stamford, CT.
The next morning proved to be much warmer and with very little traffic I breezed through New York City, Philly, Baltimore, and finally home to friends in Washington, DC.
So now the Camel sits back in DC, waiting for the next adventure. Meanwhile I’m off to the Caribbean (pics coming soon.) Merry Christmas!
love your collage of all the state lines. inspiring!
Wow, man- I am impressed. I’m very glad you got to close the loop in one piece, and I’m kinda glad that you finally got to test your tool/spares inventory on a flat tire in “real world” conditions. Again, most impressive. I’ll bet that tire didn’t go on nearly as nicely as the rear tire did in AZ, since the temps probably weren’t quite in the 90’s this time around and I couldn’t make out any Corona bottles in these pics.
One thing I feel it would be remiss of me not to mention, though- that scarf isn’t quite as ridiculous as your beard is…. Sad to see you back in the working world, but glad all is working out well. Make sure to let me know when you want to take that trip through the Apache National Forest!