Sunday, May 15, 2016

22: Riding on a zip tie and a prayer

Every day on this tour there is something new to experience.  I forgot to mention that yesterday's new thing was how Roger trued the back wheel in our hotel room before we started our day.

It has been very close on the left side ever since we put the 28c tires on. When he switched to the Schwalbes, it got really tight, and under pressure when we were climbing some of these steep grades, I was sure that it was rubbing. He took a good look at it yesterday morning, and convinced that I was right, he set about fixing it.  

Now, I did not know that he knew how to do this, nor did I know that the small tool he needed to perform the job was one of the few that he had selected for the trip. So score two points for Roger! Using an overturned garbage pail to prop up the bike so the wheel would spin freely, he worked on it while I went down the street to get a breakfast sandwich for us. He also removed the last couple of inches of the front fender, which had begun to rub on the tire.  Did I mention that the back fender was discarded way back in Solvang when the bolt holding the pack on the bike broke? Little by little we are reducing our weight!

Mt Lassen is the lump just right of center
After this repair, our day proceeded as I have written - a perfectly wonderful day on the bike and at camp. Here is the beautiful sunset that ended our day - which was Friday the 13th.  We thought no bad thing had occurred, but . . . 

Today's new thing came right off the bat. As he was preparing to load the pannier on the back rack, he observed that it was loose. The lug on the dropout had come off at the weld point! 

Now I remembered once yesterday when we had stopped to examine the bike because of some funny sound - which we could not identify.  This must have been it.  Ai yi yi! What do we do about that? 

He just stared at it for a long time.  I wondered if our trip was over. Was this weld on steel, or titanium? How would we continue if we could not repair it? 

We have two little license plates on the back of the packs with our names on them.  Roger had me undo them, and then he wound the wire that had held them on around the frame and the pack, making a secure union where the lug should be.
The Mother of Invention

Yes, that is a zip tie!
And then he loaded the pack on there, and we headed down the road. I had placed a call and sent a message to Seven, the bike manufacturer, hoping to get some advice from them. It being Saturday, we haven't heard from them. But at our second breakfast stop, we bought some zip ties and used them to augment our repair. 

Roger did some research and found another rack that will mount through the axle, instead of being screwed on to the frame as this one is.  We will ride with care for a few days until we reach Klamath Falls, where we can have the new rack delivered. And in the meantime, we will keep a close eye on the zip ties!  I continue to be delighted and surprised by my clever and resourceful captain.

Our route took us through pine forests to the east and north of Lassen. As the snow on the mountain in yesterday's post shows, no way we could have gone over it.

The clouds were building up through the day, and a stiff crossing wind kept things cool. At one point, I noticed a sign in front of a large tree and we circled back to view it.  This is one of the cool things that you can do while riding a bike that you rarely do when whizzing by in a car.  This old fellow is well into his 6th century!

Finally, the showers came. We were getting a bite near our camp when it started to rain. 

Intermittent showers through the evening kept us in the tent, although we did enjoy a beautiful double rainbow while we ate our sandwich and had a beer.

So there are a couple more new experiences for us today: rain showers and having a beer at the campsite.  

Over the next few days we are heading through some pretty isolated places. We hope to check in each day but if we don't have access, just look for us in a few days!

The day's report:  Lake Almanor to Old Station, 60 miles/978 to date


  1. Way to go roger. I guess your now running bigger touring tires. That's great

  2. Before long, we will have replaced everything!


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