Day 51 – Guilty

Start: Steamboat Springs, CO
Finish: Steamboat Springs, CO
Today’s miles: 0
Total miles: 1570.8
Splats: 0
Divide crossings: 0; 15 total

I cheated on my muni with another wheel today. Actually, two wheels. Don’t worry, I rode backwards on the route and made no forward progress.

I had the wheel off the uni this morning to install a new tire. In the process, I checked the bearings and discovered that one of them is going bad. The bearings are the pieces that connect the frame to the wheel and allow the wheel to spin. One of them had some play in it and felt ‘gritty’ when turned. I headed to the bike shop.

As expected, the bike shop did not have a bearing in the size I needed. They sent me off to an auto parts store on a rental bike to see if they’d have the right size. They had one super close, but not quite the size I needed.

Riding the two wheeled machine was blissful. Well, at first it was a little scary. Having to steer with my hands was an unusual and new experience, especially at the incredible speeds I was able to attain. It took me all of about 100 ft to get over my fears.

Since I was unsuccessful in procuring a new bearing, the bike shop packed the bearing with more grease to help avoid a blow out. I’ll have a new one shipped out to Salida, we’re I’ll be this weekend.

If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m in Steamboat for a third night. I think this may be a good time to talk about how I turn into a softie when I come into town.

I often look forward, with some nervous anticipation, to coming into town. It usually means good food, being off the seat for awhile, and maybe one or more of the following: shower, bed, bad tv, laundry. I’ve found that as the trip has progressed, coming into town has been more and more of a shock to the system. When I came into Steamboat, I arrived and immediately wanted to be out. This happened in Rawlins, and to lesser extents in towns previous. I’m finding all the activity to be overwhelming. Had there been more time in the day, I’d likely have resupplied and moved on. There seems to be a small window of opportunity to get supplies and move on before I start to get used to not moving (and watching everything else move). If staying at a motel, a shower and changing into ‘fresh’ town clothes furthers the transition. Though not true in Steamboat, I usually don’t sleep well my first night indoors. As a result I’m tired the next day. I’ll probably decide to take a day off. I justify this by saying that a big part of the trip is exploring the towns and meeting the people in the towns along the way, plus I just need to rest. This is true, but wandering around town and doing chores means that I return to my room feeling like I haven’t rested. Before I know it, evening has rolled around and I need to figure out upcoming logistics. Most of the planning involves figuring out where I need upcoming supplies sent, what supplies to send, where to send them, and coordinating with my fabulous resupply helpers to get these things sent out in time. Most of this planning has been happening pretty last minute. I haven’t gotten used to traveling as fast as I am (I’ve previously been on foot) and the next maildrop points come up sooner than I expect. For example, yesterday I realized that the town I’d wanted to have the last maps shipped to is less than a week away. That’s barely, or possibly not enough time to get a drop shipped out. I could have it shipped to a post office further down, but then I’d have to contend with weekend post office hours.

As happened here in Steamboat, some of my ‘rest’ days turn into two. I always feel guilty about this; I feel guilty about spending money on lodging and feel like I’m being lazy. At the same time, being lazy is what I want/need and after a second day off I usually feel ready to be on my way. It’s not often difficult to reason an excuse to stay over an extra day. This morning, it was a combination of the bad bearing and wanting to make sure that I could get my next maps shipped out. To get a bearing shipped out to the bike shop in Salida, I need to make sure I have phone service in the morning. Even so, I may either be paying for expedited shipping or holding over in Breckenridge or Salida to wait for the part. Or, the smarter option might be to just slow down and take more time to get there!

After my second day off, I usually feel it was worth it. Today, I took a careful look at the remainder of the trip to figure out when I need the last few mail drops sent out so that I’m not frantically trying to arrange them last minute. I’m fortunate that the lodging tonight is half that of the previous nights (Sunday’s are cheaper). I’d have moved on if that weren’t the case. Anyway, I’m feeling rested now and more aware of what’s coming up (in some ways). I’m ready to be back outside and on the move.

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