Today, I had my first flat. Luckily, I was rolling into Henderson as I felt the familiar clunking sensation from my rear wheel, so I was able to change it at the side of a service station instead of a corn field (it’s nice to have shade and a wall to lean the bike on). The valve stem I had mangled sometime earlier had finally given up holding air, so there was no salvaging the tube. Now I’m rolling without a spare because I forgot to buy an extra before leaving Columbia. I do have the patch kits though and I hear from Nick that there is a good bike shop in Danville, which I should be passing through the day after tomorrow.

After I got the new tube in, I took it for a quick spin before reloading the gear and detected a rubbing occuring between the tire and the fender. It wasn’t grinding, just lightly rubbing. I checked the freshly reinstalled tire and it appeared to be properly trued. So I spent a little time fiddling with the fenders, and walla! My bike was rolling better than it had all of yesterday. I guess the rub was so slight that I didn’t even notice it with all the gear on–just chalked the resistance up to weight and tired muscles. Not sure how long it was rubbing or how it started, but the going is considerably easier now.

Nonetheless, I only did something like 75 miles today. And I have a confession to make: I am lounging in my recliner in my room at the Best Western in Lewisport, KY. Not only that, but I have been credit card touring since I left St. Louis. This is my fourth hotel of this trip.

Now, I’m not staying in particularly nice places, so they’re not very expensive, but I do sort of feel like a spoiled child. Here I am, carrying all of this really nice camping gear and I haven’t even used any of it yet. It’s a habit I need to break myself of, and I plan to tomorrow night. Seriously.

Part of the problem has been that I am off of the Adventure Cycling routes, and the Adventure Cycling people go out of their way to provide ample camping options on their routes (and even provide the contact info). So far, on my alternate route, I have not come across any camping, and I have not been brave enough to create my own. [How do people do this? Any time I’ve spotted a location that looked promising, it has been too early in the day to stop.]. However, I have located via the iPhone, a campground in Bardstown, KY–approximately 100 miles from here–at which I plan to stay tomorrow night. After that it’s a relatively easy day into Berea. I plan to dig Berea for a day or two as I crash with Nick, and then I’m on the Adventure Cycling maps.

We are watching my personal evolution, in progress. I hope it goes as I’ve planned.

As for tonight, I plan to take it very easy. I’ll be sitting with a book in my recliner and turning in early; to wake early and load up on that free continental breakfast before making for Bardstown.

Incidentally, I really like that name: Bard’s Town. Sounds like a good place to be.


One Response to “maintenance”

  1. Steve Says:

    Buy a spare tube A.S.A.P.
    Patch kits tend to suck
    Just yesterday Aaron and I were riding and 3 flats later we were out of spares and resorted to patch kit. Many frustrated patches later we gave up

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