Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Day 78 ~ 3 Snakes, 2 Flats and 1 Broken Spoke

Doug, Doug's Honey and Gregory

Gregory stokes the morning fire.

Broken spoke #2 for the trip. It is a good thing we have 47 more spokes on the wheel and can continue to ride without the broken one.

Bye, Bye tire! This was a nasty slice in the sidewall of our brand new front tire. (This makes flat #5)

We couldn't find out what type of snake this little green guy is but below is a large black rat snake.

This garter snake met his fate under the tire of some other cyclist. Mike managed to dodge this one. That's my big size 9 foot.

Jan and Todd are locals out for a day ride. We were stopped helping Justin fix his flat. He is from Illinois and traveling to Irvine, California.

3 on the Missouri (Photo taken by Andy)

This makes puncture #2 (both on the Katy) on this brand new (as of Kansas City) rear tire. At this point we put in a call to Mark Johnson at Precision Tandems and had spokes, 2 more tires and 2 tubes sent ahead to our St.Louis hosts Blue and Craig. (Grand Total of Flats This Trip = 6! Enough already!)

Gregory makes another kitty friend outside the store in Peers.

Home Sweet Home for the night was camping out at Maggie and George's Concord Hill B & B with Andy and the gang bunking in the house.

Concord Hill Sunset (Photo by Gregory)

Date: Oct. 5, 2009

From: Bluffton, Missouri (Rendleman Home)

To: Peers, Missouri (Concord Hill B & B)

Route: The Katy Trail


Miles Today: 32 miles


Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph

Weather: Cool

License Plates Collected: 5 Montana plates, 8 Wyoming plates (2 motorcycle) and 1 Idaho plate (found in WY), 2 Colorado plates, 1 Kansas plate (gifted from David of Baldwin City)


Broken Spokes: 2

The moment Gregory got up he was back to stoking the fire he attended to last night. Our host Doug was off to work about 8:00 A.M. but not before giving us home-baked biscuits. We snapped a picture of Gregory with Doug and his Honey (his Corgi) and bid him goodbye. The funny thing is that later today we met him and his friend Dennis in the produce section at the market in McKittrick! He noted that we hadn’t gotten far.

We had taken our time getting on the road while letting our tent dry on the line, and when we were finally packed and ready to go we discovered a broken spoke. You can imagine Mike’s frustration, as he had to unhitch the trailer and remove all the panniers to flip the bike upside down. He removed the spoke and trued the wheel before we could set everything straight again and hit the road.

This was only the start of our troubles today. With each road that crosses the trail one encounters rough road surface including the heavier base rock that is below the hard-packed crushed limestone surface. We typically slow down through these patches but obviously no matter how hard we tried to avoid those “razor” rocks, we managed to have one slice open the sidewall of our front tire. Pshewww is the most awful sound to a cyclist. It sounded almost like popping the cap off of a soda that has been shaken. The tire was so bad we could no longer use it. We were very glad Mark Johnson at Precision Tandems had recommended we keep the better of our two worn tires as a spare. We said goodbye to a brand new $40 tire and $5 tube.

Not far down the road we came upon Justin from Illinois who was also repairing a flat. Mike gave him one of our tire levers and ended up helping him finish his flat repair and remount his tire on the rear of his bike. Meanwhile local couple Todd and Jan (whom we’d met at the market) came upon the scene. We managed to spend a good half hour here repairing the tire, exchanging blog information and taking pictures.

It doesn’t end there…First of all we met Andy and Shawn (two in a group of five riders) who stopped and took our picture and then made arrangements for us to camp at their B & B for the night. As they were pulling away and we eagerly followed them with a promising end to our difficult day, things managed to get worse before getting better. Our rear tire got yet another puncture. (The first puncture on this tire came back on Saturday, October 3rd.) We sent the guys on their way assuring them we had everything we needed and would catch up. Mike peeled away the electrical tape he’d backed the original puncture with and dug out the duck tape from deep within the panniers to re-tape both punctures. We were delayed even further when we encountered resistance when trying to spin the rear wheel. (We’ve ridden like this and it is not fun. You are working really hard and feel like you are going nowhere.) Unfortunately we had to remove the trailer and all panniers, flip the bike over and mess with the brake pads. Several adjustments later we solved the problem and got back on the road.

Thank goodness for Maggie and George at the Concord Hill B & B. They kindly allowed us to join Andy’s group on a moments notice letting us camp in their tent (already pitched out behind the house), gave us hot showers, let us do laundry, served us many beverages and fed us this fresh green salad, soft warm sesame bread and flavorful penne pasta that Mike and Gregory enjoyed so much they want me to get her recipe!

At 10:00 P.M. Gregory wanted to join the boys in the spa but I had to draw the line and send this little boy to bed. All three of us passed on the hot tub and nestled down in their tent complete with two thick inflatable twin mattresses. Mike was thrilled that he wouldn’t have to set up a wet tent in the morning. Little did he know just how drenched it would be…

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