Murphy’s Law Mountain Loop Highway

My plans to take a 125 mile cycle ride were altered at the hands of Murphy yesterday.  I had made it 35 miles up the highway when I stopped to check my gear and seek shelter from some light rain.

Rain clouds threatening my mountain ride.

Rain clouds threatening my mountain ride.

I’ve put on over 2,400 miles on this bike since last August.  I consider myself very lucky that in all of those miles I’ve only had one flat tire and no mechanical problems.  On that occasion, I was able to replace the tube and be back pedaling that time within 10 minutes.

Today, I looked down and saw that 1/2 of my left pedal had broken off.  One of my screws designed to secure the rear rack to the frame had also decided to leave my company.  I replaced the screw with one not being used from another part of the frame.  During this repair, my rear tire went flat.  No problem, I thought,  I have all the items needed to repair it.  I was so proud of myself to have the backup systems and knew I could overcome this minor setback.  I pulled the tire and tube and found the tire free of any sharp objects that may puncture the new tube.  I grabbed my tire pump and discovered that the small tip that connects to the  tube valve had unthreaded and also migrated to parts unknown.

M River from Mountain Loop Highway

Stillaguamish River from Mountain Loop Highway

Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!  No problem, I have a back up system CO2 cartridge tire filling system.   I was concerned it would not have enough air to completely fill the tube but at least it could get me down the road to civilization.  I found that the device was defective and had lost its air pressure.  Damn you Murphy!

I was many miles into the National Forest on the Mountain Loop Highway and there was not very much traffic on this drizzly Friday.  Normally this lack of traffic would be a good thing for cycling but not when you are reliant on someone for help.  As with most of my mountain rides, there was no cellular telephone service here.  I prepared for the 10 mile walk back to the Verlot Ranger Station.  I was in the process of putting my front wheel on the rear so it would be easier to walk my bike and gear down the road.

A pre-Murphy Roadside Stream

A pre-Murphy Roadside Stream

Could it be?  A vehicle coming down the mountain?  Hell  yeah!  I flagged down the only vehicle I had seen in the last 30 minutes.  It was a county truck headed back towards Granite Falls.  I left out the names of my rescuers as they told me it is against policy to pick up hitchhikers.  They dropped me off at a business that had an air hose 20 miles down the road.   After pumping up the tire, I was again rolling down the road.  I rode the 17 miles back to my truck in Everett without mishap.

I unloaded my bike when I was back in Mukilteo and saw that my rear tire was flat again.  I just shook my head and chuckled to myself.   I spent the rest of the evening being very cautious for fear Murphy would continue his mischief.  Now I have woken to a new and sunny day.  After dropping my bike off at the shop for a complete overhaul, I will find some kind of non-cycling way to enjoy this day.

Thanks for following.

Roadside stream on the Mountain Loop Highway

Roadside stream on the Mountain Loop Highway

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About Bruce Bosman

Join me as I ride my mountain bike up and over the incredible mountains of Washington State. Although this blog may appear to be a testament to my accomplishments, this was not my intent. Compared to the challenges that many face every day mine are insignificant. My hope is that you will appreciate these photos and stories as you join me on my Mountain Quest. I recognize and pray for all of you that face adversity and struggle to overcome mountains in your everyday life. We all have bad experiences, excess baggage, and debris that pile up to create obstacles in our life. Much of my mountain is made up of the accumulative stress and incidents that 29 years of a law enforcement profession and life brings. If allowed to go unchecked these mountains can become impassable and will block out the sun. I challenge myself and you to face our mountains and conquer them. Even if it is one step or one pedal stroke at a time, work to overcome the obstacles that life puts before you. Push through the pain and embrace the challenges. Work to make your life and the lives of others better. Look for the beauty that this world and life has to offer you. . Carpe Diem (Seize the Day)
This entry was posted in Bicycling, Mountains, National Parks, Photography. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Murphy’s Law Mountain Loop Highway

  1. Jeff Katzer says:

    Cool, if I need any spare bike parts I’ll just follow you (in real time/space) up the road and scavenge up whatever falls off. Hey, have a look at Forest Service Road 41. It starts right across from the Robe Canyon trail head parking… Climbs for miles up into the Boulder River Wilderness. The road is gravel, but no worries on a MTB. wildflowers, waterfalls, and eventually ends at a hiking trail used for access to the Three Fingers mountains.

    • Bruce Bosman says:

      Yes Jeff, You would have enough parts to build a new bike if I would have continued. As long as I’m running 90 psi in my tires, I think I’ll save the gravel roads for a future second bike. It sounds like a cool place and I hope to check it out down the road. Thanks.

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