Day 70: Recovering nicely


The rail trail where I crashed. Note the seams in the trail, which are very much like the ones on all the roads in the northwest. Those seams cause a constant pounding when riding over them on a bicycle.

Going through photos of my trip this morning, I realized that I had stopped shortly before the crash to photograph the trail surface. The constant pounding of the bicycle wheels on those seams had been on my mind since Oregon. I kept thinking they would eventually fatigue a spoke or two and I would have to repair a wheel. I had forgotten about my front pannier rack and that I wanted to safety wire it because I was concerned that if the mounting bracket broke, it would stop my front wheel. Guess what I forgot to safety wire. I really hate being correct sometimes.

It has been just over two weeks since my crash. I’m healing well and the pain is finally subsiding. The worst pain was in the wrists. I must have really been hanging onto the handlebars.

The search for a replacement bike goes on. I’ve narrowed my choices down to a Cannondale, CoMotion, or Surly.

Cannondale Touring1 machine, very much like the machine I crashed on. Now comes with the rear rack.

I’ve been very happy with my Cannondales over the years, both for road touring and mountain bike racing. All of their bikes that I have owned were made in the USA. Now, they seem to be making most of their bikes in Taiwan, so I’m not as enamored with them any longer. Still, the touring bike they offer does meet my needs.

The Co-Motion machine. Very nice, but near $4000. The one in this photo has the “Co-Pilot” option. The “Co-Pilot” is the shiny object on the frame that allows the bike frame to be disassembled for shipping in a small box. That option is $700. That may sound like a lot of money, but if one ships the bike often it can mean a considerable savings in shipping costs.

The CoMotion machines are made in Oregon. They’re really well made and have a great reputation, but I just may not be able to afford one, they are twice the cost of the others. When the Cannondales were made here, they did cost more than the Asian versions, but not twice as much. I suppose they would be now, as are the CoMotion machines. Still, I can dream, can’t I?

Shown here is the Surly Long Haul Trucker, disc brake version. The trucker name places this bike in a serious touring category. It is not a racing bike, it is meant for hauling lots of gear over long distances.

Then there is the Surly. They have a long standing reputation for being one of the best touring machines. I don’t know where they were originally manufactured, but they too are now from Asia. I’m leaning towards the Surly. A friend has one for sale that might fit me, if it does, I would seriously consider it. We’ll see. The friend’s bike has already completed one coast-to-coast ride.

It doesn’t hurt to smile…


As for me, I’m feeling well. I’m still stiff and walk like an old man, but then I am, so nobody notices. Since I don’t have a bike here in Florida at the moment I have been riding Jane’s. It is small for me but at least I get to exercise the muscles. I had lost ten pounds on the coast-to-coast ride and lost another two pounds upon my return, but now I have put a few pounds back on. Time to get back on a bike and keep the weight in check.

Jane and I have plans for next summer, but, if I can find a month there somewhere I may just go back and finish Wisconsin to Massachusetts. My daughter, Áine, pointed out that I seem to do most of my epic journeys in two parts (The Appalachian Trail, The Vermont Trail) so why should this be any different? Good point.

We’ll see.

Author: Dennis Blanchard

Dennis Blanchard was born in Bristol, Connecticut. He and his wife Jane moved to New Hampshire in 1980 where he has climbed thirty 4000-foot mountains, biked the trails and enjoyed the wilderness. Never living very far from the Appalachian Trail, Dennis was always aware of the seductive siren’s call to hike it. Dennis is an electronics engineer who has freelanced for amateur radio, technical and motorcycle adventure magazines. He now lives in Sarasota, Florida.

11 thoughts on “Day 70: Recovering nicely”

  1. Happy to see and hear you’re on the mend. Your daughter is correct. No reason you can’t complete the trip next year when you’re back to 100%. I had hoped to maybe stop by for a few minutes and say hello when you reached Newburyport. Maybe next year, no? Hey, what’s another ‘300 zeroes’ between friends?


  2. Looking good Dennis keep up the great healing and by all means finish the ride – sorry a bit selfish – I like reading your postings every day – take care and keep up the awesome life – would love to do what you are doing but alas – I must work :)))))

  3. well it looks like you’re healing, dennis.
    maybe you should try some massage to
    get the kinks out.
    i hope your trip takes you near the ben and jerry’s
    ice cream plant in vermont.

  4. Glad to hear that you are healing well. Visited a neighbor in VT and noticed an Appalachian trail guide on his table-guess I’ll need to order another copy of your book! Hope you find a good replacement for your bike.



    1. Hi Al: for the longest time the highest concentration of readers for Three Hundred Zeroes was in Atlanta, Georgia. I think you’re working to change that! Thanks for spreading the word, we Indie authors really appreciate the “word of mouth” about our books. In your case, you might go broke buying books.

      I’m doing well with the healing. I haven’t even practiced any more handstands. I am hoping that I can get back on the trail next summer and finish in Newburyport, Massachusetts as I originally planned. Too bad the bike didn’t make it, but hopefully, I will.

  5. Dennis! Glad to hear you’re healing well. We were super bummed to hear about your crash. We’ve missed you on the later leg of the trip but are excited to hear you’re considering finishing it in the future! If it makes you feel any better, you dodged a nasty week-long storm all through Minnesota and Wisconsin.

    Our tour wouldn’t have been the same without you!


    1. The day I crashed I was thinking about whether I would see you guys or not. I figured that I might run up to Maine to see you guys finish, I guess that won’t happen. I don’t know where you guys are at the moment so do keep us up to date. Rain or not, I’m jealous.

  6. Hi Dennis,

    Good to hear you’re recovering. I’ve been in the UK for a while on vacation, just got back and checked to see how your trip was going. Bummer about the bracket failure and crash, but you’ll live to ride another day.

    I had the local ISP guys out this week to replace the customer-side dish that provides my internet service. It’s up in the top of one of those huge redwood trees in my back yard. After a few abortive attempts to climb the tree using spurs and rigging, they’ve agreed that renting a crane is a much better option. So I’ll be up there, high in the air, installing a new (fast) microwave dish and shielded Cat5E cable to upgrade the system. If you’re ever back out here in Corvallis, let me know….your futon awaits!

    1. Yeah, I can just imagine climbing those trees would be a REAL challenge, and I love to climb trees. Loved Corvallis and thanks for helping out. I’m healing well and hope to finish the ride next summer. I’m on PSK31 and CW often, on forty and twenty meters, if you find yourself there, listen for me.


      Dennis, K1YPP

  7. Hi Dennis,
    What an incredible stroke of luck to find you on 40meter CW earlier tonite! For the past month I have been spending 99% of my air time on JT65. I dropdown into the CW portion so as to not forget my code. I had done that tonite and there you were answering my first CW CQ in weeks. You cant imagine my surprise. I am so glad to hear you are mending. It takes time to totally heal, even longer us septuagenarians hihi. I hope you get back on the road when the time is right. I still have hopes of sitting across a bowl of clam chowder at the Starboard with you. Meanwhile I’ll keep a sharp ear for your callsign. 73 de Ashburnham, Jack-W1PFZ

    1. Yes, I was surprised to hear you too Jack, especially in the wee hours of the morning. For the benefit of those readers that are not radio amateurs, I was tuning around on the forty-meter shortwave ham radio band last night and heard a Morse code signal from W1pfz calling “CQ.” CQ is an international request that one sends out to see if anyone is around that would like to chat, sort of a telephone ringtone, in a sense. I answered Jack’s call and we had a nice chat. I communicated with Jack while I was on the bike ride, from Lolo, Montana, and other times. We have never actually met.
      This is one of the things I love about the avocation of amateur radio, one finds friends all over the world. Unlike the Internet, we communicate directly through our radios. One obvious advantage to this is that when there is a national, or international disaster, the communications paths stay open. Locally, radio amateurs, ie: “hams”, often have emergency backup power and can “stay on the air.”
      For example, during the great earthquake of 1964, I assisted with communications with the folks there in Alaska. Almost every commercial communications system was wiped out, yet I was able to handle message traffic into and out of Alaska for concerned families. An added advantage of such a distributed communications system is that it is virtually impossible for terrorists to “take out” such a widely dispersed system. If interested in knowing more about ham radio, do check out the ARRL website.
      Thanks for giving me an opportunity to get up on the soapbox Jack. Now, back to our regularly scheduled program…

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