Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Day 2 Thousand Palms, CA to Blythe, CA 118 miles

I had a hard time sleeping through the night, waking up at 4:00 AM, then tossing and turning till 4:45 AM when I give up and get up. I get ready, then head over to Denny’s for breakfast. After breakfast I load my luggage, but set my bike on the lawn as I put the luggage in the trailer. Of course the sprinklers go on then, so my bike and a few others get wet. I grab the infamous pink pump and get my tires set. Mike takes my picture and posts it on the web site.

I head off, following a group of early, fast riders off into the sunrise. At the first sag, I am the first to hit the road, but soon am passed by Steve and Jerry. I speed up to keep pace with Jerry. One of my bar end lights falls out, so I go back to get it. I then catch back up with Jerry and ride with him through the Box Canyon … pretty, but dry and desolate. Jerry’s knee is bothering him. A group of riders catch up and then pass us. We pass a tour group of day riders headed the other way (downhill). Now why can’t all of our ride be downhill? We tag along at the end for a while, but first I, then Jerry drop back.

Soon Jerry and I get on I-10 and ride the shoulder for 24 miles. We are the first in to lunch, as the group that had passed us had stopped along the way. After a quick lunch and restocking, I hit the road. Jerry and then Ken catch up and we ride together. Jerry’s knee is bothering him more now. My bottom bracket starts wobbling. I panic a bit as I know it takes an 8 mm allen wrench and I don’t have one with me on the bike. Fortunately Jerry does. I tighten it 5 or 6 miles after lunch, then it starts wobbling again 7 or 8 miles before the sag. As we pull off to the sag, it gets worse, so I ask to borrow Jerry’s 8 mm allen wrench again … I can’t risk riding it the way it is. I make it into the sag and have Shane take a look at it. I tell him I had this problem earlier (800 miles or so), but it seemed to be fine after that. He tightens it some more and tells me to bring the bike in to the mechanics time that evening. Then Shane watches Jerry ride a bit and tells him his seat is too high, lowering it several centimeters. That seems to make a difference.

We ride on to Blythe. Just before we pull into town, we pass a cyclist on a self-supported ride, all loaded down, stopped by an injured snake at the side of the road. It looked like a rattler, but it was clearly injured and no danger to us, so we rode on. Finally we pull into the motel. One of the first things I do is sign up for mechanics time to have my bottom bracket looked at.

After a shower, I head off to the local drug store to pick up some Efferdent tablets. Not for my dentures … don’t have any. Mike told us they were a great way to disinfect our water bottles. Since I’ve been using my Camelback for water and the water bottles for sports drinks, my water bottles need to be cleaned. On the way back I run into Jerry, Steve, and another cyclist who are headed for the Sizzler for dinner. I join them. We all have Chicken Alfredo and lots of the all you can eat salad bar. Afterwards Jerry and I head to Dairy Queen. I have a Gatorade and a Mounds bar.

We head back and I take my bike in. Mike had heard of the problem, so takes a look. He decides not to take it apart, but to test it tomorrow and if necessary have me take it in to a good bike shop in Prescott on Day 4. They’d have the stuff to put it back together properly if there are problems taking it apart. Since it worked okay the last 17 miles, I think that is the best approach, but I’m still apprehensive. This means I swap out the tools I’m taking on the bike so I have a full allen wrench set … a bit heavier, but I’ll have what I need to deal with tightening the bracket if I have to deal with it on the road. Before bed it is off to get a gallon of water and then to KFC for a Mashed Potato Bowl.

No comments: