Coping with the Solitude

Part three in the series "America at 10 MPH"

A deer hanging out just outside of my campsite
I spotted a deer hanging just outside of my camp

Exploring the area lifted my mood, and shortly after I made it back to the campsite, another cyclist pulled in with his bike loaded with gear. Any shyness I had was immediately outweighed by my need for connection. This was the first cyclist that I had come across on the road and I needed someone to commiserate with. This was also my chance to ask someone else, who likely knew more than I did about the tire problems I had been having.

I ran over and introduced myself. His name was David Woodruff and he was cycling his way from Canada to California for an app developers conference. I was blown away. Canada was so far. Still in my first week, this guy was a legend to me.

He told me stories about the people that he had come across so far in his trip and said that everyone he had come across has been kind so far. While I was only in the beginning, I had similar sentiments.

David told me he was planning to take a day or two off to rest here and use the time off to head back to the town at the local library to work on an app he was developing.

Part of me wanted to cling to him. I had found some company and I didn’t want to head back into solitude. There was nothing stopping me from changing my route, but I knew that come morning our paths would head in different directions. We sat next to a small campfire and talked about life until time slipped away from us and it was really late. So engrossed in our conversations I almost forgot to ask him about my tires.

He wasn’t sure what was causing my tire issues, but he was certain that my problems weren’t normal. He suggested that I was carrying more weight than he was and that could be contributing to the problem. He also pointed out that my bike pump didn’t have a pressure gauge on it so there was no way of knowing if I was pumping my tires to the proper pressure. He let me borrow his pump with a gauge to pump my tires up to the recommended levels and then we both were lights out.

Author Bio: Sterling Stowe is a 26-year-old Colorado native and journalist with a passion for the wild. Follow his solo bicycle trip across the United States in his blog: America at 10 MPH