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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Frustrations Fizzling?

Nope, not going to mention the Great Blogger Outage of 2011 in this post, no siree!

The trip looms closer and closer, so it's "Do or Die" time. As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been busying myself with tying up loose ends in the remaining days.

Thursday was a bit frustrating. A trade situation that I was sort of counting on fizzled, as the shop didn't need a t-shirt design now due to finances. I was hoping to get a new set of wheels for the Long Haul Trucker, now that plan has been foiled. Oh sure, I could still buy a new set, but bartering is definitely cooler, especially when I'm trying to stretch my dollars.

And the big Bike Fun Workshop? No one showed up. Carl and I drank beers with Timo instead. While I definitely enjoy drinking beer with these two fine gents, I wasn't thrilled about making time out of my busy schedule AND going into work on my day off for naught. We promoted the event, and people showed up last year, so I wonder what happened?

But Friday...Friday comes after Thursday, and you don't need Rebecca Black* to tell you that! And a lot can change in 24 hours. The negatives have been turned to positivies.

I first went to Clever Cycles to ask Todd a couple questions. I purchased a Princeton Tec EOS bicycle light from them about two years ago. I love the light, as it is bright and can mount on a helmet, handlebar, or be used as a headlamp for camping. Unfortunately the thing broke this week. Despite it being billed as Waterproof, some water somehow got in, and it won't turn on. I had difficulties getting in touch with Princeton Tec's warranty department, which frustrated me since this light will be used A LOT on tour! So Todd offered to take it back and replace the light, since the lights are supposed to have a lifetime warranty. Problem solved!

The other thing I inquired about was the special Alex XCE 500 rim/Shimano DH3D30 dynamo hub they've been selling for $99. This seemed like an economical option for a front dyno wheel, though some of the reviews of the particular Shimano hub were not flattering. Todd said that he's had 0 complaints about the wheel and none had come back with any problems. I asked if he think it would hold up for a cross-country bike tour on a fully loaded bike, and he didn't see any reason why it wouldn't. Hmmm...tempting. I'm going to think about getting one. Does anyone out there have any opinions?

Then over to North St. Bags to talk with Curtis. Curtis and I are doing a "collabo": I design some pictogram instructions for his bags, he builds me bags. And today I found out he had finished my bags! I got a set of Avenue B bags. One is a convertible pannier/backpack and the other is just a pannier! How cool! This is the first "custom" bags I've gotten. And I look forward to using them, around town and on tour! (photos to come soon)

And the final bright ray of hope occurred when I got to the hostel. Adventure Cycling had sent me a couple of their route maps for my tour. I didn't pay anything for them, since I had credit from my Stem Captain. If you remember me raving about it on this post, the Stem Captain is a clock or thermometer that fits onto the top of a threadless stem. It's a really cool idea, but has a fatal flaw: the thermometer (which is what I have) or clock doesn't actually screw into its holder, it "pops" in. And if something on a bike can pop in, well, it can pop out too. And when it decides to bounce off the stem, it will be at an inopportune time, like descending a bumpy road. Which is what happened. Now the Stem Captain may have survived the crash, but unfortunately for me a passing car flattened it. Which is ironic: the street I took is a very quiet side street, and the only car that I saw was the one that passed me and flattened the thermometer.

So I wrote to Adventure Cycling to complain. I did it to vent and wasn't expecting anything out of it. To my pleasant surprise they offered to replace or refund! I didn't feel like taking a second chance on the Stem Captain until they improved their design, so I opted to get two maps needed for the trip: Northern Tier Section 1 and Great Parks Section 2. I do need more maps, but I'll get them when I visit Adventure Cycling headquarters when we pass through Missoula.

Oh yeah, the weather finally got nice! And I sold the Centurion finally! But more on that later.

*Or her writer/producer/handler.**
**If you don't know who Rebecca Black is, please ask your cool brother or sister.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I excited to read about how it goes once you get going, but I can't imagine this level of prep. Whew, glad I'm just reading about it :).

    Call when you get close, and perhaps we can hook up a ride!


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