And there goes my cushion again

Wheel full 70px Well, it may not be drizzling this morning but I’ll wax philosophical for a moment and say that into every long-distance bike tripper’s life some rain must fall.  My turn came this morning.


Wheel full 70px Last night I noticed a wobble in my rear wheel.  I’d stopped and had one wheel or the other or both trued at several shops along the way.  No big deal there.  I had a piece of strap iron on a bike path get sucked up into the rear wheel and break a spoke in New Jersey, but that happened not too far from a bike shop and was dealt with in short order.

Wheel full 70px I’m assuming what happened in today’s situation was that a combination of the terrible pavement on roads across Kennedy Space Center plus a perfectly placed bump in the pavement somewhere close to the end of the day may have pulled through a stress crack in the rim and created the slot-like hole you see in the photo.


Wheel full 70px Fortunately Stuart has at least one full service bike shop: Beyond Bikes, which is where I’m at now waiting for a replacement wheel to be built.  So once again I’m losing the little cushion of extra miles I’ve built up, but that’s how these things go.

Not all bike maintenance…

…takes place on the bike.

Wheel full 70px I was knocking sand off my shoes the other day when I was getting ready to leave Oregon Inlet campground.  This caught my eye.


Wheel full 70px I called a bike shop: Island Cycles, down the Outer Banks in Avon, North Carolina.  John, the proprietor, said he was closing early to clean up damage at home left by the recent hurricane, but would leave a replacement screw on his porch if he wasn’t going to be there.


Wheel full 70px He hadn’t left by the time I arrived, and so I bought three of these.


Wheel full 70px He installed the screw, made sure all the others were tight, and I was on my way.


Wheel full 70px I’m heading for Wilmington, North Carolina today. It’ll be my last full day in this great state.

…some rain must fall

Wheel full 70px It looks like my sunny day streak is about to end.


Wheel full 70px But there’s a promise of better things to come as I approach Boston.


Wheel full 70px I’ll be at the Center Street Bike Shop in Brunswick, Maine this morning, getting the Surly checked over and picking up a package from home that the shop is holding for me.  Then it’s on to at least the outskirts of Portland.  The last of Maine’s hills should be in my rear view mirror today.


Another great Nova Scotia bike shop

Wheel full 70px I took the Surly into Manser’s Bike Shop [linkie] in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia yesterday for a check up and some adjustments.


Wheel full 70px Jordan, the shop’s mechanic, went over the bike from front to rear, tightening a loose quick release on the front wheel, custom bending a fender bracket that was causing occasional rubbing, properly torquing the headset, and making some needed adjustments to the front and rear derailleurs.  The bike has never shifted as smoothly as after him doing this.

Wheel full 70px All told, he probably spent an hour working on the bike, all the while chatting with me about my trip, Surly bikes, Brooks saddles, and other stuff.  The shop was busy, too.  He handled a couple of customers and dealt with several phone calls while I was there.  I was, if you haven’t figured it out already, really impressed.

Wheel full 70px I won’t tell you what he charged me; I’ll just note that I must have gotten the long-distance bike rider discount rate.  A Five-Star experience!


Wheel full 70px Yarmouth is a nifty little city, with a great historic downtown.  I had some non-trip related business here that took a bunch of time out of the remainder of my day, but I’d come back here as a tourist and hang out for a few days in a heartbeat.



A great Halifax bike shop

Wheel full 70px I’d be seriously remiss if I departed Halifax on my trip without mentioning Bikes by Dave [linkie], a local bike shop that I stopped at on Monday to get the Surly checked over and to ask a couple of questions that I had.


Wheel full 70px When I called to set up a time to come in I was told that there was a several day wait for service but after I explained a little about my trip I was told to come on over, as they were always happy to make a little room on the schedule for someone on a long-distance tour.


Wheel full 70px When I arrived, Tom, the shop’s mechanic, quickly and efficiently went over the bike, addressed my questions and concerns, and made several helpful recommendations concerning my route down Nova Scotia’s southwest coast. It was obvious during the 30 minutes or so that I was there that, if anything, the info about being busy was an understatement. It was a busy shop, that’s for sure.



Wheel full 70px When the bike was ready Dave Marder, the owner, rang up what I thought was a very reasonable amount for the time Tom spent.  If I lived in Halifax, I know where I’d take my bike to get worked on.