In the morning I bid farewell to the ocean and start cranking up Legett Hill. Mossy oaks provide good shade for the work. I get so absorbed in the cranking that I don’t investigate the periodic noise that has developed in the back wheel. Half a mile short of the top of the hill I hear a sound like a cannon going off and leap off the bike. When I return I see I’ve blown the back tire, thorn-proof tube and the tire itself, way beyond repair. The brake must have been digging into it all the way up.
There aren’t many cars on Highway 1 up here, and the few there are won’t stop to help me. I’m forced to walk six miles down what would certainly be one of the most thrilling hills of California. I show up in Leggett feeling dejected. There’s a hardware store here, but it carries no 26-inch tires for me.
Dejected again, I roll the bike out to highway 101 and stick out my thumb. Again no one stops, until at last a hippie girl in a big explorer pulls over. We take the seat off the recument, wrestle it in the back, and head north for Piercy. It reminds me of the time a hippie girl in a beetle rescued Pete and I outside Anza and took us back to the Pacific Crest Trail.
She drops me off in Piercy, where I find a room for the night and a tire for the bike that will hopefully take me through the last stretch.