Friday, August 14, 2009

And they called her "Crash"

Friday August 7

Our day off and day of travel began with Donna earning a new nickname, compliments of the Firemen of Farmington. She will now be known affectionately as ‘Crash’. I wouldn’t have gotten away with that! We packed up and were ready to enjoy our breakfast of a whole watermelon that we purchased the day before but never even cut. Half of the melon was chopped into pieces which we snacked on while we encouraged various firemen to assist us. Our transportion to Carbondale Ill was going to be the pickup truck of Captain Alan. He is one of the captains who get to be boss when the firechief is absent. His shift ended at 7:00 and by 8:00 we were pulling away from Farmington once again. This time the bikes were strapped on the bed of his truck.

It seemed kind of cheap of us to be riding in a truck over the highways that we would have pedaled had ‘Crash’ not crashed the day before. I’m sure that this feeling too shall pass. It was especially painful to see the almost flat landscape by the Mississippi river delta go whizzing by at 60 miles an hour when we would have loved to have been able to cycle this flat terrain. Oh well. We stopped once the Mississippi had been crossed. Some photos were taken in Chester Illinois at the memorial to Popeye. There is a whole story about Popeye and how he is based on a real person who was recalled from memory by a person who is from Chester. Evidently Popeye is actually buried near here as well. I don’t know about Olive Oyl or Sweet Pea!

A half hour later we pulled into Carbondale and Alan let us off at the bike shop. We have nothing but good to say about the guys in Farmington as they are there to help cyclists in need or not in need. We were probably some of the neediest. Thanks Alan, and the rest of the guys in Farmington. You have earned a spot in the Team Jackson Hall of Fame.

I talked to the mechanic Cho, and left him the bike to work on while we explored Carbondale a bit. We ran into some more touring cyclists that we have been trailing for the last 2 weeks. Frank and Allison were going to have some work done on one of their bikes before they head out tomorrow morning. We accompanied them to the Libraray and spent an hour there doing e-mail stuff. After grabbing a hotdog for lunch, we returned to the bike shop to find Donna’s new and improved ride waiting for us. The new carbon fiber fork is a big improvement over the bent up steel one. And the new wheel that has all of its’spokes where they belong is also better than what she used to have. We bought another spare tire to be changed out later as we now have bald tires on both bikes. And finally, a replacement mirror was purchased as Donna broke hers when she hit the pavement. Damages: $360

At 2:00 the first test of the new bike as well as the old banged up Donna (Crash) was conducted as we had a short ride of just over a mile to get to the Super 8 motel where we had booked a room. The new bike and the old Crash performed about as well as could be expected. The real test would come tomorrow when we hoped to actually put in some miles.

In the meantime, Crash and Lewis hung out at the motel while I went grocery shopping. I returned with enough food to feed an army so we began to eat. Around 4:00 we received a phone call from Scott Kimmel who confirmed that he and Patty would indeed be meeting us later this evening after they had driven the 3 hours it would take to reach Carbondale. We stopped eating at this point, and concentrated on the liquid refreshments that I also purchased. This is in anticipation of our soon to be in Kentucky blues. There are more ‘dry’ counties in Kentucky than any other state which we had been warned about by at least a couple of different sources. Therefore, I may have to go another week or more, before beer is available again. I think I’m up to the task though.

We relaxed and watched TV until Scott and Patty showed up around 7:00. We visited a bit in our room before we headed out on a walking excursion to the Applebees Restaurant just down the road. For those of you who are uninformed, Scott Kimmel is a lifelong pal, a chum, a beer drinking buddy from Bridgeport, and one of our closest neighbors while we lived on Margaret Blvd in Bridgeport, Michigan. Scott is also the adventurous kid who once attempted riding his bike with me to the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes in Traverse city at the ripe old age of 15. I wrote about this haphazard journey way back in the preride portion of this journal so you may have to go look for it if you’re still interested. Needless to say, Scott will not be joining us on the road. He is here more as a cheerleader and also a benefactor as he bought dinner this night. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to wish us good luck. And Kudos on the dinner as well! Scott and Patty left us at the motel as they had another 3 hour car ride before calling it a day. We were sleeping 10 minutes after they left.

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