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Monday 6 June 2011

Day 28 - Repairs to the Rear

Todays mileage: 58
Total mileage: 1,371
End point: Douglas, WY
(More than Tim Palmer rode today ;)

As I finished my last blog a high powered coupe zoomed around the corner of the campground I was in. The owner was rude boy pizza delivery driver, he looked at me:
'You know, these people, they don't know how to do it'
He waved his hand round at the various trailers in the park
'You, you know how to do it, YOU KNOW HOW TO DO IT!"
before I could say anything, he dropped the clutch and wheel span out of the park. If I had been quick thinking I would have negotiated some discount pizza from the man.

Yesterday afternon I did some shopping, simple stuff. Some nail clippers, batteries and electric toothbrush heads. Electric toothbrush heads = $27 for 3 of them; I tell you what oral-b how about I just send you my bank card, the keys to my house, and while your are at it how about some quantative easing from the back of england and some stimulus funds from the federal government. $7 per brush, you have to be kidding, a higher mark up than pop corn. It is only the fear of the dentist that drives my oral hygiene.

After a good nights sleep I awoke to find that lisa and verdell had left blueberries at the door of my tent, my goodness, such kindness :) I left them a post it note on the door of their trailer telling them it was people like them who made this trip what it is. I packed up and began my 5 mile journey in the wrong direction to the bike shop where I had an appointment to have my bike fixed.

I arrived at Ragged Edge Sports on the West side of Casper. Roy the owner had arranged for a guy called travis to look after me and my bike. And I want to dedicate this blog to Travis - he is a living legend! Only 2 weeks ago Travis commenced the Transamerica cycle ride with one of his best buddies following the westerly route layed out by american adventure cycling association. After about a week his knee felt sore, and after another couple of days it had swelled up to the size of a grapefruit. A trip to the hospital resulted in the doctor telling him if he continued riding it would result in permanent damage to is knee which might stop him riding for good. I can't even imagine how terrible this must be. I know I would only quit as an absolute last resort. So he stopped, and had to leave his friend to fly solo, with the hope that he can finish it next year.

The only upside to this sad story is that I got the best mechanic in the world. It turned out that I had at least 4 dodgy spokes which he replaced swiftly. In addition I got a new bike computer fitted; now hold your breath here because I bought another cateye!! Dear me! But this one is wireless and attached to my front wheel and has a much larger display. I left my old one with Travis to see if he could repair it and put it to good use. Travis charged me peanuts for the repair, and I can only say a massive thankyou. I know he knows what the transam is all about :) The bad news is this repair will probably only last so long. Unfortunately I really need a 36 spoke rear wheel with all the weight I am carrying and a new rear tyre soon too. I'm going to try and order this in advance to be picked up in nebraska, but its pretty barren in NE.

I left the bike shop ready to roll, with some great views overlooking Casper. I followed a back road to to Glenrock, with the scenery reminding me a bit of northern iberia. Nothing too much to note on this road although I did enjoy cycling passed 'big muddy pond' and 'big muddy bridge'. To be fair to big muddy pond it actually looked like quite a nice little lake!

I parked up in Glenrock a cute little town, very western, with a few shops and bars on one main street but very tidy. Wandered into a bar where the lady refused to accept any money for my 7up. Hanging from the ceiling were loads of bras! It turns out this was a charity event for breast cancer. The owner insisted on showing me her new deck where she was hoping to have live bands play.

Down the road from the bar I spotted a barbers an decided it was time for a haircut. Now I must tell you I am all too aware of the risks associated with having your haircut in random places, its literally roll the dice, two fine examples:
1. When I was in chicago with 4 hours to spare for a flight and I went into what turned out to be Barack Obama's hairdresser - I think I was the first white guys hair they had cut that year. The hair cut went fine but then I spent 3 hours in chicago traffic and missed my flight - doh!
2. When I lived in Dusseldorf I went to a turkish hairdresser just a block down from my apartment. The haircut went fine till the end. Now normally what happens is the barber gets a razor and deals with all those messy hairs at the back of your neck which have escaped the clippers - oh no... this guy pulls out some very fine string which he winds round his hands in a mystical pattern. Then before I know it he is somehow plucking lines of hairs out with his bare hands and string. The first two pulls I was in shock, and then the agony hit me, and then a little scream and then a firm order for him to stop immediately. At this point the majority of people in the hairdressers burst out in laughter!

So I was prepared for the worst and no expectations. The barber was an old guy who worked alone and must of been over 65 because he had medicare, I was quizzing me on social medicine; I promise in no way did I raise the subject, he was geniunely interested. The outcome of my 30 mins in the chair was, well, I think the best way to describe it is a vietnam haircut. I look like I've just been drafted into the army in '67 and would probably make a good extra in full metal jacket or apocolypse now. I can't blame the guy he was probably cutting hair through 'nam. I was initially a little bit schocked, but I it will recover for the wedding and its grown from a 3/10 to a 5/10 after some reflection. At least its a bit cooler with the temperatures today hitting the high 80s.

Leaving Gelnrock I was forced to join the interstate for 20 miles, i-25, a road i'd never heard of before. Nothing too much to note apart from I saw my first sheep in a field - whoop! The only other thing was this was painfully slow; the wind which was forecast to be an SW on had somehow turned into an easterly so I was crawling at 10mph.

Arriving in Douglas was worth it however, I am now at a KOA - buts its the best campground I've stayed at. Perfectly mowed lawns with loads of space to camp on, clean restrooms and showers and best of all the swimming pool is heated and has opened. I had a great 30 min swim which is what you need after riding. Actualy I lied, that is not the best part, the best part is the owner decided to charge me only $10!! After some of the campgrounds which were more suited to Eminem's youth I can only wish they were all like this!

P.s. amazing picture above of much more than car hoarding.. an entire field of trucks, cars, ploughs, harvesters, and other exotic agricultural machinery. I'm only going to post the best car hoarding pictures from now on!

That enough for today, by the ay thanks for all the quiz entries, it makes it much easier if only pam enters as I can secretly get her a present which is really for me ;)


  1. I'd like to see a photo of your Vietnam haircut! Loved the parts about the pizza guy and the Turkish hairdresser. Keep it up, babe! Love you!

  2. Is that pic of you and the barber after his handy-work? Nice high n' tight!

  3. Hey there!
    It's Travis from ragged edge...
    I have a part number for a rear wheel if you happen to find a bike shop that you can call in Nebraska...
    Quality Bike Parts number:
    That number is for a 36 spoke shimano deore LX disc hub with a really nice rim.
    It should cost you about 200 dollars.

    I hope the wheel is holding up well!

    Good luck!


  4. Now that is good service, Travis!!