Weathering the Storm – A tree branch fell when camping and damaged my bike

My cycling journey from Alaska to Argentina was not all plain sailing. A number of mishaps occurred, including when branches fell down from tall trees during a storm and crushed the wheel on my bike!


Weathering the Storm

(Blog post written October 14 2009)

It was a terrific storm over night at Standish Hickey Campground. I woke up at just gone midnight to a loud crashing sound, which I immediately knew wasn’t good news.

Exiting the waterlogged tent into the rain, I went over to the bike in the dark six feet away to see half a tree on it. Shit.

I dragged both the bike and trailer out, and took them down the side of the shower block which was sheltered from the weather, and I could see straight away in the half light that the rear wheel was buckled to buggery. Terrific.

The rain continued to pour down, and I didn’t feel much like returning to my puddle, I mean tent, so I took my mat and sleeping bag, and made the disabled showers my home for the night.

Assessing the Damage

Up early in the morning, I reassessed my situation, different scenarios playing through my mind. Luckily, I didn’t have to use any of the more difficult ones such as hitching 150 miles with a broken bike, bob, and my gear, as my first idea worked. I went over to the store across the road from the campground (which is unusual to have one there), and explained my situation.

Gary, the owner, was really helpful, and helped to find a bike shop in Arcata where I could buy a new wheel from. He then organised its transport on the Amtrack bus, and to cut a long story short, I had my new wheel by mid afternoon.

It fitted and everything seemed fine, and so I planned to push on as soon as the weather broke the next day.

(Now those short paragraphs really gloss over what was a near miss on myself by the falling branches, a stress filled night and day waiting to fix the problem. I hate a sense of powerlessness)

Note – I was really proud of the rear wheel the damaged one)… Pride before a fall!!!

Read more about cycling from Alaska to Argentina

Use the links below



Leave a Comment