Going in Circles: Day 5

Somehow I’ve managed to swear only once on this trip and it wasn’t even today. This morning seem like a week ago but I’ll try to recall. We woke up in Beesh’s backyard just after sunrise and after spending time diddling with my stuff for an hour or so trying to get it organized we managed to get out of there around 8:30. Not until after planting a few seed bombs full of native California flowers and chowing down about a half dozen oranges from the tree in his yard. It was a hot morning riding over to Sacramento from Davis and I was feeling a bit sluggish. The capital city was gorgeous though. It was so refreshing to pull into town and there were bikers happily pedaling along in every direction.

The agenda in Sacramento was to go to a bike shop, market, camping store, bank, and Apple. Initially I thought we could do some or all of it and make it out at a reasonable time. I found the Sacramento Bike Advocacy office and went there figuring that would be a good bet to direct us to where we could find used bike parts that would not be in packaging. We sat down with Jim for a while and just had a grand old time. He told us about all the cool happenings and boy where are their a lot of em. After a solid half hour in his office he directed us to his friend Mark over at Edible Pedal, where we could likely get some used parts. We headed over there and ended up spending 4 hours in the shop and in the parking lot. By far the coolest bike shop I’ve ever been to and the people were just awesome. I needed some bike bags (handle bar bag and seat) so I would be able to access my stuff and not have to unpack my trailer every time I needed something, bike gloves, and most importantly a new gear set so that I can use lower gears for my seat. Jim ended up coming over with Evan and we spent a ton of the afternoon talking. It was obvious we weren’t getting out of Sac anytime soon, but we had a long list of things to do to make the upcoming 100 or so days easier and they had to be done. Sadly I realized I wouldn’t make it to Tahoe on Friday to speak at the environmental magnet school and had to cancel. Agape Love came down and delivered me a bunch of seed bombs and brought local produce and water from the well! I was in need of food so it was a true blessing and he was a cool dude. Turned out after an hour or so of work that they couldn’t change out the gears so we were back to square one. Drained of energy after shattering my full jar of olive oil in the parking lot I was rejuvenated by finding a full bag of fresh bread in the dumpster. CARBOHYDRATES!! Just what I needed. Next stop the bank to pull out $1,000 with the intentions of not going back for a month. Then I went to the local co-op to get toothpaste and some local food. I lost my toothpaste on the first day so I haven’t used toothpaste for about 4 days. Man did I need it. Then we went to REI where I ended up spending $450 on the bike gears that I needed, a backpacking wood stove so I can finally cook grains to get more CARBOHYDRATES, straps to properly attach the solar panel and gear to the trailer, a tent for Brent so we don’t have to sleep together, a connection piece for the solar panel, and a few other things. The problem is that it created some waste. Luckily cares about that stuff and much of it was minimally packaged and mostly in cardboard rather than plastic. I spent 3 hours in there and was feeling delirious by the time I got out. But they put the new bike gears on for me, and I repacked and reconfigured everything while I was there. Then I realized I might have gotten the wrong piece for the solar meaning I won’t have a charged laptop for a while. It hit me and I wanted to cry. I guess because it’s easier to get me down when I’m really tired. I got up and realized the rig was looking good and everything was tight. It was exciting. But it was now 10:00 at night and quite cold. So what to do? We decided to bike. The bike was flying along the moonlit bike path. It was riding smoother then ever and with every pedal felt like a hot knife through butter. My energy was at its peak and I said out loud:

“What if we did make it to Tahoe in time.”

The path winded along the river and we even had an owl fly along with us for a while. Life was good and we were cruising. We did stop a few times and look at the GPS on the phone but the blue dot was just not showing us where we were. I couldn’t figure it out. An hour of night flying and we probably had made it close to 10 miles. Again we looked at the GPS and thought it was just not working. And then we realized it was and that we had gone in some big loop, passed where we started and were now farther from Vermont than when we had left the REI. Wham, a hit to the stomach. So we pedaled backwards, and I felt horrible. We found a spot just a mile or so later and are camping just off of the bike path. I feel good at the moment all of this being said. I feel more comfortable than ever on the bike and think things will go smoothly tomorrow. We have the Sierra Nevada’s to start climbing which will be one of the more physically challenging things I’ve down in quite some time, maybe ever.

A lot of talk of 1% for the Planet today with everyone in town and Sacbike is going to become a recipient, Edible Pedal a member and Jim is going to talk to a bunch of businesses in the area about becoming members! Pretty certain it was a big day on the 1% for the Planet front! And I am certain that Sacramento was left a slightly better place by our visit. Agape Love gave me a ton of seed balls and I gave half to Evan to spread them along the bike trails.

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This adventure is now a book! Dude Making a Difference is the exciting and inspirational story of my bike ride across the USA on a bamboo bike. Go to www.RobGreenfield.tv/Dude to get a copy or learn more about it. 100% of my proceeds are donated to environmental grassroots nonprofits!