Well, late last night my plans changed considerably. Due to an error on my part I am no longer heading to Denver and I need to reroute my trip. I think I’ll adopt the original plan I made months ago but the big problem is going to be the next few days. I’m having a lot of trouble keeping my focus on just enjoying the journey. The rational part of me realizes that it doesn’t matter what direction I go but I still have an uneasy feeling not having a route for today.
I do know my first stop is a bike shop to get Ashley’s drivetrain, brakes, and tires looked at. After that I have some ideas but it may depend on how long repairs take. I know that the next week or so heading west is going to be a little bit more sparse than I’m used to.
Sadly, after some time at the bike shop it turns out that the problem wi rattling in the front gears was actually some bearings that had seized to the metal frame. Ashley couldn’t be saved and I had to replace her with Harmony. The new bike is more expensive but it was the cheapest one the shop had. The guys at Bike America were awesome. They gave me a discount on the bike, tuned it up, and helped me transfer all my equipment over. I got to chat with them for a while, one of the guys told me that I belong in a city like Portland… He didn’t know I was from the Portland area at that point. Apparently I come across as a “chill hippy hipster without the hipster pretentiousness”, I can live with that. They did advise me to get a tuneup when I get to a major city, probably Wichita.
After putting down some time together Harmony and I are getting along well. She is thinner and lighter than Ashley and that takes some getting used to. She almost feels unstable at times when we really get going. I also have had to adjust my technique when shifting gears and have hit too hard a couple times causing a loss of rhythm. All in all she’s great and I’m happy with her.