Thursday September 4, 2014, 5 miles (8 km) – Total so far: 4,756 miles (7,654 km)
There is a list of things to accomplish today.
1) Get to the bike shop to see if they can adjust the shifting.
RESULT: Success. Rick Roach, the shop owner, looks over the bike and takes the time to show me a whole bunch of tips and tricks for working with cables. He also shows me all the spots to pay the most attention when cleaning/lubing drive train parts and cables on the road. I come away with a lot more knowledge, better shifting and a positive feeling from the shop. If you are in the area and need some help, Absaroka Bikes is on the east side of town near Kmart.
2) Go to Walgreens for stuff.
RESULT: Success. I get a new phone card for calls to Nigel, find a stuffed Gonzo on clearance for $3 that has to join the ride, and a couple more greeting cards for Nigel.
3) Go to Sierra Trading Post outlet shop for new pants and bike gloves.
RESULT: Success. My zip-off pants are 15 years-old. They have served me well but they need to be put down before they fall down or fall off or the small holes in sensitive spots become embarrassingly big. It is not possible to squeeze more life out of a pair of pants. I’ve been looking for a new pair all along on this tour but have not yet found a pair that fit, at a price I wanted to pay. I find a pair that will work – with a 40% off coupon from the local tourist guide, it means I get a new pair of zip-offs for $24. Score.
I lost my bike gloves back in Big Timber. It actually hasn’t really bothered me that much to ride with naked hands. However, I miss them tremendously as a place to wipe my snot. I’m able to get a pair of basic Pearl Izumis.
4) Go to post office to mail Nigel stuff.
RESULT: Success. I try to mail Nigel a card or two every week. I also mail him a package of goodies every few weeks. Today, I’m out of international stamps. I restock. I do believe I have just about exhausted every “Thinking of You”, “Miss You”, and “Encouragement” card in the Hallmark, American Greetings, and other major card lines. Even at the very beginning of our relationship, when all was lusty and lovely, the “Romance” cards never seemed right. After all the crap that’s come our way, that line of cards seems even more sappy, sentimental and unappealing. Maybe Nigel won’t notice if I start sending some of the same cards I sent on last year’s tour….
5) Get food.
RESULT: Success. Of course this was a success. This is America. If you want guns or a big gut, you don’t have to look far.
6) Go to library to transfer photos to USB stick and catch up on email, etc.
RESULT: Success. Cody has an extremely nice library with plenty of space, tons of computers, a warm atmosphere and friendly staff. I even get another book to read. Library book sales are great – I’ve been hitting up the sales all the way across on my tour. There is usually something of interest – if not, I just revert to a book that has been in Oprah’s book club, and those are usually decent. To reduce weight, I just tear out pages I’ve read as I go. Prices have ranged from 10 cents to $1.00.
7) Go to DQ for a Blizzard ice cream.
RESULT: Disappointment. I wish Smores was a flavour all of the time. I love that one! Today I try “Pumpkin Pie” – a special fall flavour. It is slightly disturbing to me that it is ‘autumn’, but I’m excited to try it. Australia only does savoury pumpkin, no sweet pumpkin, so I enjoy sweet pumpkin when I’m back in America. But the Blizzard wasn’t all that great – it’s just like they added pumpkin pie spice to vanilla ice cream, added some crushed graham cracker and topped it with fake whipped cream. It’s okay but nothing like my favourite Smores!
So it was a very successful day. I also get my bike all cleaned up and figure out where Gonzo might be able to ride on the bike. Ready to hit the road again tomorrow!