Feeling really good!
My bike went to the shop for a list of new parts – handlebars, front fork, front brakes, cables, pedals, front gears, back gears with a 34 tooth big one for hill climbing, and a new part where the pedals connect with the frame. I like the guy at the bike shop and he has always done very good work for me. This time my bike came back looking like new, clean, scuffed things repainted, and all these new parts, and all this for only $65! I know if I got this done in the US it would have cost a whole lot more than this.
I also got a box for my brand of bike, a box slightly bigger than the other one I picked up and the bike goes in it without a problem! I need to unfasten the back of the rack so it doesn’t stick up as much and I should be all set.
Most important though, today I rode the bike. It took some adjusting and getting used to since it feels different, but the more I rode the happier I because. The old gears that were grinding a bit, I think they were also taking energy. Now it feels like the bike almost rolls effortlessly. It is silent and so smooth.
If you really want to work out, go uphill in a headwind, with low tires, gears that are making noise, and a couple gallons of water in the panniers. No wonder I was feeling discouraged and not up for the tour! Now that everything is in working order I feel really strong and more than ready to hit the road.
Next? Time to start packing and riding with the real world load I will carry.
I thought about flying to Panama City but if I don’t want to pay $100 for the bike, I need to ship it, pay for that, pay someone to collect it and bring it to me, and be separated from it for a number of days to allow for possible delays. I’d rather take the bus, and the someone who was going to collect the bike can get me and the bike at the bus terminal and take us to the airport hostel. Or, I can just grab a taxi. Getting on the plane without my bike just isn’t an option, and this way I will have it with me. And, the whole process of getting me and the bike to the airport hostel will cost less than just the airfare alone. It’s more time, but I have time.
I bought a duffel bag big enough to hold the panniers for the plane, but it folds down small and is light weight so it will probably carry the tent and sleeping bag on the tour.
Things are coming together! I don’t think I have much more to do. Most important though, I am feeling strong and ready to spend my days on the road. Last month I was freaking out. This month I am excited. It’s a much better state of mind.
Of course, I also can’t wait to see my daughters, the grandson, and the babies. There are lots of hugs and kisses stored up waiting to be delivered.
PS I am also doing everything on my iPad since the computer isn’t coming with me. Better to work out any issues before I leave. Hopefully it’s a seamless change and you all won’t notice any hiccups.