Sunday, August 05, 2007


All is unpacked, cleaned up, and put away. Lots of miscellaneous trip-related paper to wade through, and lots of "what would I do differently?" to think about. I'm going to start by going through the entire packing list and checking off stuff that I never used, and that may not need to be carried next time. In general, I think I came pretty close in that respect, but I'm sure there must be room for improvement.

At this point, I can only say I'm pretty sure I want to do more of this bike touring thing, in similar small bites for now to gain more experience. On this trip, I camped 4 nights and moteled one, and that only because of the heat. On the camping nights, I cooked twice and ate out locally twice. There was plenty of heat, but no rain. I feel like maybe I didn't eat enough or often enough, since I started to drag a little as time went on. Though I had no problems with heat cramps as I did last year, and had no problems slogging up most of the long hills, the overall energy level seemed to drop over time, both daily and for the week as a whole. I probably just didn't take in enough calories, and that's supported by the 2-3 pound weight loss in 5 days. So, nutrition continues to be an issue I need to work on.

Stopped in Adirondack Bicycle yesterday and told Bill about my front-end noise problem. He didn't seem to think it was hub-related, but told me to just pull the wheel and turn the axle by hand. Any rough spots would be immediately obvious. Duh - should have thought of that myself. But his next suggestion was a new one on me. Spokes try to flex under load, and at the points where they cross, they sometimes stick and then release, causing the ping sound I'd been hearing. He suggested some ProLink or WD-40 on the crossing points to see if that cleared it up. That made sense, since it was only happening while riding, and not while spinning the unloaded wheel. Did that today, and in the process, discovered a very loose spoke, which I tightened. I'd be willing to bet that one was flexing more than the others, and was causing the problem. I'll try to get out for a short ride later today and make sure. He really needs to start charging me for advice - I always learn something new when I go in there!

More to come as hindsight provides perspective.


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