Mon March 14, 1999 Corvallis OR
I awoke, tired and meloncholy, much like the wheather outside. I decided that it was about time that I bike somewhere, just to test my equipment and inexperienced methods. So I spent the afternoon preparing for departure.
A tense, nervous knot tied itself in my stomache as I gathered my gear and readied my only carriage, my bike! By 2:30 pm I was physically ready to go. My bike looked great all loaded up and ready for the road. All my equipment fit and worked just like it was supposed to, this machine was indeed worth all that I invested in it. My motivation on the other hand was in need of an overhaul. The prospect of heading out into the cold, ageing day without knowing where I was going to sleep that night scared me to blazes. I was flooded with self doubt and the realistic self questioning that is a part of the persuit of any intangible dream. Am I going to be able to do this?
Doubts or no doubts, I left, hoping that the feel of the road and the sense of freedom that comes from traveling self-contained would carry me over the thresholds of my fears. To an extent it did. My bike trailer worked great and my bike seemed to handle the 50 lb load well. Then it started to rain, all over my little parade. The wind picked up 5 miles out of town with enough force to knock the motivation right out of me. I knew that I wouldn't make it far before turning back.
I ended up riding a good 25 miles. Somewhere after 14 miles I turned around, heading back the way I had come. The wind turned quickly from antagonist to ally and blew me all the way home in a relaxed harmony. I had failed my first test, but it couldn't have been a total failure! I learned, if nothing else, physical endurance is going to be the easiest aspect of this trip. What will be hardest is the organization, finding places to sleep and fighting the unpredictable nature of the weather.
Still, I felt an energy out there, on the road. As I passed, people walking their dogs, or was overtaken by streamlined racers, I felt their questions and their wayward glances on me. "What is this guy all about?" I guess that is when it hit me. I am about something. I do have my motivations, however unfounded in reality they may be! I have objectives. If I am an innocent dreamer than at least I have the will to persue my dreams. Where is the failure in that?