Good Morning All!
Today was my last test ride. I had to make sure the gears were shifting smoothly with the new gear cartridge installed, make sure the tires were round and pressured correctly, and pull my little trailer up the steep hill I’ve been testing on. As the coming week approaches, I’ll be disassembling my bike and stuffing the parts in a box, as well as putting the trailer and gear in another large box. I have the baggage size requirements available, so I’ll be modifying box sizes to keep everyone happy.
The first thing I discovered this morning was the chain was too short for the new larger rear gears. I had to add 4 links to the chain to compensate and then adjust the derailer to make sure the shifting was precise. The new gears felt good as I pedaled up the hill, but then again, my trailer was empty. I’ve come to accept there may be hill or two on my journey that I will have to walk my bike up because of the incline, but I’m ok with that. I’m not out to conquer the world. I’ll be off to explore it and overcome the challenges that come my way.
The tires felt good being larger than the original tires on my bike, but the rear tire was rubbing on the frame a little, so I’m going to have to get out my Dremmel to make some custom adjustments to the axle mounting area. MacGyverism at it’s finest!
Another item being tested today was my foot gear. I’ve heard and read that socks and shoes are good for a while, but as our bodies heat up, so do our feet. This will result in sweaty, aching feet which can cause Athlete’s Foot. Avoiding that and the fragrant smell of well worn socks at the end of the day in a small tent sounds like a good idea to me. My friend Lee, who was one of the cyclists I met in Mulege, Mexico recommended closed toe sandals to avoid these issues, so today was the day to test a pair I selected. Having always ridden bikes with shoes and socks, today’s ride was different and very nice. No hot sweaty feet… no aromatic socks at the end of the ride. I look forward to many miles of pedaling ahead and interesting tan lines with these comfortable sandals.
Yesterday, I gathered almost all of the items I’ve been putting aside for this adventure – something I’ve been dreading. I already knew that I would have to start eliminating things that weren’t important enough to occupy the room and weight necessary. One thing that didn’t make the cut was my gold pan kit… but I’m still thinking about taking it. It could double as a wash basin and/or a salad bowl!
Today I’ll finish selecting the “Survival of the Fittest” items and attempt to fit everything somewhere on my bike and trailer. This minimalism traveling sure does make me think about what is and what isn’t important enough to take with me. I have to keep reminding myself that water and a little food will be accompanying me as well.
My son Jonathon told me that he discussed my trip with some of his friends, and the one question he heard a few times was, “Why?” The funny thing is, that is my favorite question! Why? Why? Why? Well… I’m fortunate enough to have a window of time in my life in which I believe I am healthy enough to do this, my kids are off on their own, it’s too damn hot to do anything in Southern California right now, my ex-wife and daughter-in-law thinks I’m a little crazy anyway and so my grandsons Parker and Grayson will have something to tell their friends about when they get older. I’ve always said, “Life’s an Adventure and I want my money’s worth!” so off I will roll with my Guardian Angels watching over me and my Tibetan Prayer Flags attached to the trailer’s flag pole blowing in the wind behind me.
Thank you for following my journey! I look forward to sharing this with you, however crazy it seems! 🙂