Above: On the road to Mendocino, CA.
Above: the MacCallum House, which is the B&B in Mendocino that Tori and I are staying in for Memorial Day weekend
Above: Breakfast at the MacCallum House
Above: the view from the front porch of the MacCallum House. Note the Pacific Ocean in the background.
Above: We found a bakery and an organic corner market, so we ate fresh bread and local cheeses for lunch…
Saturday, 5/27 10pm
Previous day’s mileage: about 47
Today’s destination: I’m staying in Mendocino this weekend.
I almost got stuck in the middle of nowhere today on account of a severe mechanical failure, but I’ll get to that in a second.
I left the campsite at Anchor Bay at around 10am, after saying goodbye to the Stalcup’s and the Hiatt’s (the couple with Calton). Things started off perfectly: the weather was nice, and I was feeling good because I knew that I didn’t have to ride very far that day. I estimated that I should pull into Mendocino between 3pm and 4pm.
As I said, things were going well, and I was making good time. And then… disaster struck! I was reaching the top of a medium-sized hill, with beautiful green farmland on both sides of me, and the Pacific shoreline visible to my left. I tried to shift out of my granny gear, and to my incredible dismay, the chain got jammed between my front gears and the bike frame. The chain was so badly jammed that I could not move the pedals in either direction. In a word, the gears were hosed.
I coasted to the side of the road and leaned my bike over in the grass of the roadside ditch. My plan was to take the chain apart using something called a “master link”, as I had done the day before. The good news was that I was able to take the chain apart just fine, which should have solved the problem. The bad news was that, in the process, I accidentally dropped the master link into the grass. After searching for 10 minutes, I still couldn’t find the master link. Soon, another touring cyclist (a girl heading south) rode past me and offered to help. For the next 5 minutes, the two of us sifted through the grass looking for this stupid chain link. Then, a hitchhiker (hobo?) named Frank caught up to us, and he started looking too. It must have been a funny scene: two people in spandex with bikes, and a hitchhiker all on our hands and knees, by the side of the road searching around on the ground.
Anyway, eventually the girl (who is riding from Minneapolis to San Diego) suggested that we use her chainbreaker tool to attach the chain together. After about 30 minutes, we got the chain reattached, and Frank and the girl continued on their merry ways. Unfortunately, when we put the chain back together, WE DIDN’T PUT IT ON CORRECTLY! As a result, the chain got jammed in the deraileur, and I was stuck again! And the only was to un-jam the chain now was to take the deraileur apart, which required an Allen wrench, which, “just my luck”, I didn’t have. Now I was really worried, because I was again in the middle of nowhere with a useless bicycle, roughly 20 miles from my destination.
Before I started to panic, I walked down the road and knocked on the door of a farmer’s house. Long story short, the farmer happened to have the world’s most well stocked toolshed, and just happened to have an Allen wrench in the exact size that I needed. PHEW! I can’t believe how lucky I was. So, at about 4pm, I was back in business, about THREE HOURS after my original breakdown.
For the rest of the journey to Mendocino, I avoided switching in and out of my granny gear as much as possible, knowing that if my chain jammed again, I’d be up a certain creek without a paddle.
At about 6pm, just as it began raining, I pulled into the Macallum House, a B&B in Mendocino. At 10pm, Tori arrived from San Francisco to hang out with me for the weekend. My plan for the weekend is to relax (hopefully I won’t be sore anymore by Monday) and spend time with Tori. Sounds like a good weekend to me!