Saturday, October 18, 2014

Off balance overpacked loads up a mountain= not good

Another overnighter trip! This will most likely be the last until Spring.
I drove to Cumberland early having packed 3 panniers and 2 bags (stop laughing!) the night before and was on the GAP before 9AM.

I stopped for Coffeeneuring trip #4 at Cafe Mark

This was my first real use of the new front rack, I used one pannier on my new rack.

I am reminded when I do things like... load ONE pannier on the front rack... that I'm still a clueless noob. I spent the day trying to figure out why on Earth I was having horrible arm pain.

The weather conspired against me too, it drizzled and spit and misted the entire morning and much of the afternoon. Sometimes it spit-izzled and others it mist-izzled. It was cold too. Even though I was well-dressed, the cold and wet got to me after 6 hours outdoors hauling gear up a mountain. 45 pounds worth.
While the trip was long and tiresome and dreary, I made the best of it. The fall colors were amazing despite the poor visibility from the top of Savage Mountain.

The traffic was awful.

I hope we don't exceed the weight limit!

It was tiring going up the mountain, there was one well-worn firmly packed path on the trail; my side was soft and rutted from washouts and full of rocks. I tried desperately to get some relief from the bad side of the trail and ride on the 'wrong' but delightfully-easy-to-ride-on side. However, cyclists coming down the mountain were always kicking me out of the firmly packed side when they bore down on me at 15-20 MPH while I was limping along at 6 MPH. Oh, how I wanted the other side of the trail.

Eventually, I was able to ascertain the cause of my arm pain: the off balance load! I once drove a car on a regular basis that needed a front-end alignment and my right arm always hurt from pulling the steering wheel to one side to compensate for the wonky alignment. Logically, this translates to bikes too! By now, I was 25 miles into the trip. I switched the pannier over to the other side in the hopes that I'd give one side of my upper body a rest from the strain... but it still ached in spite of the switch. WAIT... this pannier doubles as a backpack!
I turned the pannier into a backpack and strapped it on. No luck, I was so tired and sore by then that any weigh on my back was an objection as well. I arrived in Meyersdale a little after 2 PM and was too early for a check-in at the B&B, so I hung out at the Museum and enjoyed the wifi.
The hours between 2 and 4 are rough in Meyersdale if you arrive hungry. Thankfully, I brought snacks and fortified myself along the way.

I rode down to to Levi Deal Mansion bed and breakfast after I checked my email and met Jan, the inkeeper. She showed me the guest room where I'd be staying and the codes to get into the garage where I could store Fizz.

I showered and rested... I was so very tired and needed a lie-down. A hot shower helped to get my core temperature up, but I was still chilled.

Note to self: take photos of your room before you mess up the bed and don't leave dinner's leftovers in your shots.

The room was decorated in a Asian theme.
I think those are two monks.
I shivered and my teeth chattered on my walk down to the Morguen Toole for dinner. I was still penetrated by cold. I couldn't get warm. They were out of the Octoberfest entree I had my eye on, so I opted for the burger and Jameson's again.

The wifi at the Levi Deal wasn't reaching the guesthouse, I was resigned to walk down to the Morguen Toole and linger outside in range to pick up a signal.

I slept hard and soundly even with the trains going by and blasting horns every 20 minutes.

32 miles, and an agonizing lesson learned.

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