Hurricanes, Fires, and Riots Oh My... - Riding in Circles - CycleBlaze

September 18, 2020

Hurricanes, Fires, and Riots Oh My...

Concerns, Calculating, and Mitigating Risk

This week a major hurricane smashed into Gulf Shores, Alabama and surrounding area.  Incidentally, this is where I was to be about now if it weren't for a broken wrist back in June which delayed the trip about a month.  Though in five weeks, God willing, Gulf Shores is where I will be.  Over the last couple days I've thought about the damage and the victims involved in this natural disaster.  I've also considered, and reconsidered, the perceived risks I'll be taking along the way, whether the journey is worth these risks, and how these risks can be mitigated. 

I anticipate little hurricane risk in late October through early to mid Nov.  The risk area for this trip would extend from southern Alabama thru Houston greater area.   According to historical data collected over the last century, while still technically hurricane season, hurricanes drop off dramatically in October and are rare in November.  Though I will be following the weather closely as I near southern Alabama right through the eastern corridor of Texas.   I also will be following the current damage and reconstruction efforts down in Gulf Shores AL over the coming weeks.  I may need to alter course slightly west if Gulf Shores is closed to visitors or is still heavily damaged. 

The fires rage on along the west coast.  This is truly a national tragedy.  I recently heard the state park that houses many of the nation's Redwoods is closed to visitors for at least a year.  5 of the 10 largest fires ever in California history were in 2020.  Oregon and parts of Washington are burning as well.  The oroginal hope was to winter in southern California before heading north along the 101.  I will need to follow the status of the fires over the coming months and should be prepared to winter in Arizona or New Mexico if necessary.  Though, I anticipate and am hopeful as late Nov and December approaches these fires will burn out. 

Riots in the cities are a major concern.  For this reason, I intend to steer clear of most cities at least till the New Year.  The upcoming elections in early Nov have the potential for renewed chaos and rioting.  I don't intend to be anywhere near a major US city come election day. 

In case this weren't enough the Covid19 is still thriving.  And I anticipate it to get worse for America now that children and colleges are back in session.  This ominous fact coupled by the cold weather has the potential for the 'pandemic' to worsen.  I however believe I am at least as safe as anybody living in the civilized world provided I adhere to a few simple rules.  In fact I have the ability to be far safer.  This can be accomplished by favoring living outdoors than in an enclosed space, avoiding larger gatherings of people, limiting eating at restaurants, and taking proper hygienic precautions.  Ive followed CDC incidences of Corona virus nationwide and have determined if at any point daily averages hit 100,000 the trip will be scrapped or put on hold and I may need to live in the woods for a few weeks.  

Though there are number of secondary ways the virus can adversely affect  the trip.  If a state closes non essential businesses than I won't he able to get emergency bike work done or pick up more inner tubes.  Additionally curfews and shelter in place laws can all disrupt plans.  I will need to be flexible and will be carrying more repair gear than I ordinarily would because of these concerns.  

I bring all this up to say first that I have considered these risks and intend to proceed as planned with the trip.  Though, second, I welcome and would appreciate the insight of the community regarding these concerns.  Thanks!

Rate this entry's writing Heart 7
Comment on this entry Comment 0