Lessons and stuff for 'Next Time'....
I was mostly prepared to handle the situation I got myself in to. I had tools and such to work on the bike. I had a gps (plus years of riding knowledge of the area), so I never was worried about being lost. I had enough fuel to ride the bike where I planned plus a lot of extra, just in case. I had food and enough riding gear to stay alive if I had to spend the night. And most importantly, I had my SPOT and a network of family/friends willing to help if I needed it. It was the SPOT that made the whole thing very tolerable for me (if not inconvenient for my loved ones). Not that I was totally reliant on SPOT to get me out of there. I could have taken a lot more time to self rescue, but being gone for that long would have put a lot of worry into those who were expecting me home. That's why I got the SPOT. Looking at my options at the time, that seemed the most logical choice. And up until this point (three years of ownership/use?), I have only used it for tracking and OK messages. I finally got my money's worth.....
But I didn't have enough water or a hat for the sun. And while my riding friends at home knew the area and could picture exactly where I was at, my rescue party (Dad) did not. And he didn't have a gps, smart phone or internet access to get himself oriented. He had to go with verbal direction over the phone. It got sticky when the road names and numbers given over the phone (from online sources) don't match the signs in the field.
So what would I change? Firstly, I'd ride a little more conservatively in unknown terrain. I got lucky earlier in the day, leading to a false sense of security in my abilities. Especially at the end of the day when you're more tired and not riding as strong as earlier. I pretty much knew that the trail I got stuck on was a dead end, I should have taken a little more time to think about what I was getting myself in to. I would also either carry more fluids (which of course has a physical limitation on quantity) or something to treat water. On my walk out along Twin Valley Road, I passed a creek a couple of times. It sure looked tasty.....And lastly, I'd consider my rescuers should they be needed. If all they get is a text with me asking for help, would they have the information needed to do so?
"I don't know what you do, but I know what I do, and I don't do that." --Uncle Doug, R.I.P.
"Without the possibility of death, adventure is not possible"--Reinhold Messner