When I wake up this morning, the nightmare is not over. My clothes are soaked and I’m feeling quite dirty and sore.
I go check my back wheel and find many spokes are loose. I adjust their tension until I notice the rim is severely damaged in two places. The head of the spokes almost went through the rim. All that neglecting yesterday has had some consequences; but at the time the equipment was not my priority. Getting out of the rainforest was the most important thing.
I walk the 10km back following the power line, knowing that at some point I will be going down the range on a steep slope and it will be flat until Mossman.
Those 10km are very hard going. It’s all hilly, with a lot of uphill at first.
I stop at the running creek and refill my water bottle. I’ve had only 1L left since yesterday night.
After three or four hours of walking and pushing the bike, and (once again) dragging it over and under tree trunks, I reach the end of the track. I make my way down to the road.
Once I’m on the road, I feel much safer. I’m 20km from Mossman. I take a look at my sick back wheel and tweak it a little and ride away. The wheel is wobbling a lot but not touching the frame.
I’m physically and mentally exhausted. This episode triggered something. I’ve had enough, finally. There is not much motivation left. I will finish this track but not taking that kind of risk again. And I’m thinking no more riding for a while. It might be time to settle down for a few months.