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Saturday 11 June 2011

Day 32 - Smash

Todays mileage: 20
Total mileage: 1,534
End point: Chimney Rock, NE

I probably had one to many beers last night as I woke up with a hangover. I
think the dehydration from cycling makes this much worst. I had visited a
few bars in town although it was pretty quiet. Had a nice chat with a
hispanic guy called Ulysses (great name) who had been in london last year
and was recounting some european tales.

I arrived at the bike shop just before noon and was happy to find my wheel
had arived from Utah. JR who ran the shop offered me a loan bike so I could
get some lunch whilst they did their magic. The bike was a comedy cute big
bmx single speed which he had fixed up for fun. As I climbed on the bike my
phone leapt out of my hand and plopped on the floor. This was no big worry
as up to this point this phone had been indestructible. I had seen many a
phoned smashed back in my university days when my flatmates from bristol
(one person in particular) would often throw their phone at a wall in
response to the latest domestic dispute with the girlfriend of the time.
This phone was several divisions high in structural strength.

Picking the phone up the space time continuim span around, my jaw dropped
open, the entire screen was cracked into at least 100 pieces. Over the last
month of riding I have given serious consideration of what I would so in
such a situation. The unfortunate part was despite all this thinking I had
failed to deliver a plan B. The phone still worked, but the screen was
destroyed with multiple black lines and moving your finger across the screen
results in the possibility of small glass fragments cutting into the skin. I
phoned Pam in a panic to recount my stupidity.

The solution was found in staples. I have invested in a Dell Streak 7 inch
tablet which was reduced to $300 (ouch) and was the cheapest android tablet
available. It looks like a massive version of my phone. Unfortunately its
wifi only and this may affect my ability to post daily. For the moment I
will continue to use my phone for calls and music, and use the tablet for
photos and blogs. I knew there would be these bumps in the road, its just
painful when you actually hit them.

Trevor worked on my bike and fitted the new wheel (looks good Travis!) He
did a sterling job, I have to admit the wheel was not the best purchase in
the bike shop, although the most necessary. My back tyre had been torn to
shreads and the front wouldn't last too much longer. JR and Trevor had a
special tyre recommendation - Bontrager Hardcase. I am in love with these
tyres and may have to conduct a small ceremony in their honour. The tyres
are triple enforced kevlar slicks, you can feel how tough they are and I
have been zooming along on them. Hopefully punctures will be a rarer event!

Before leaving the shop I had a quick chat about the history of bike shops
in Scottsbluff and the politics of deciding which brands to carry. It turns
out Sonny's bike shop is one of the only ones left in the town and they
carry Treks. I'm a big trek fan, and Trevor got me a Madone 6.5 down - this
bike is awesome and as light as a feather at 15 pounds. Now I have a
question for road biking friends, why do they stipulate a minimum weight for
racing bikes? Surely if they can make them lighter, why not let them do it.

I left the bike shop and crossed over the river onto 92 heading south east.
I wa a bit concerned however as i'd been told my intended campsite was
filled with mosquitos and there were loads of them just hovering around the
road. Pulling into a convenience store in Melbeta I was disappointed to find
a very bare store, gatorade - yes, bug spray - no. The lady form behind the
counter disappeared, ran to her car and magically provided some bug spray
which she insisted I have for no charge. What a saviour.

I only put 20 miles in today as I knew my bike was going to be worked out. I
am camped in a very interesting location. Oregon Trail Wagon Rides is more
of a tiny 1800s village and the place is packed. They do wagon rides here,
big meat cook outs, have live music and a bar. The campsite is merely an
after thought behind the buildings. Its a fun family atmosphere. I got
chatting to the family camped next to me as they were from Ohio, and I
though Ohio deserved a shout out! Some granparents who had taken 3 of their
grandkids to Yellowstone, and they had spotted a bear this morning, good for

Anyway I am off for some well deserved rest and maybe some nightmares
revisiting my phone flipping stupidity.

1 comment:

  1. Brian... depending on the Android version on the broken phone you can sometimes set it up as a wireless hotspot (like a router using your data connection) that you MAY be able to hook the tablet up to.

    I say may, as its not in all releases!