The only important world is the one behind your eyes. And no one can access it but you
A few days off. My sister Barb drove up from her home in Columbia Falls to eureka, Montana near the border, met me and we returned to c falls with my bike. Unfortunately all bike shops were closed in the area as it is Sunday. I though, thought that is strange for a tourist town. At her house I made a sleeping sheet for our sleeping pads, and my bag exploded all over the bedroom and I got to totally clean it out and see what I brought.
Monday we drove to Whitefish and a bike shop which I felt comfortable with. He mentioned to remove the star nut, which was causing the problem with a loose front fork, often require the use of a piece of rebar and a sledge. Hmm. I asked about the rear brake giving out and he mentioned he sees that fairly often on downhill rides at the ski area, especially when one rides the brake as I was doing. Another mechanic says it heats the fluid to boiling and vaporizes which then destroys any braking ability, but given 30 seconds it returns to liquid and braking returns.
Thus we left the bike in the care of glacier cyclery and proceeded to drive up the valley to find some cyclists we knew. Stopped at the polebridge bakery to obtain sustenance for the riders. Found them just before the steeper part of the climb to red meadows campground and pass. A few beers were shared and we began descent (us in car) to upper whitefish lake camp where the riders had decided to spend the night.
On return I began to worry about the rebar as a tool on the bike. That just does not sound right. We arrived and all worked well, with a seemingly full repair plus. Turns out the bottom bracket was loose with a few replaceable broken parts but unfortunately the shop does not carry the specialty brand “Chris King”, so parts were unavailable except on order so installed SRAM. Ok although I still had to do the electric portion of the repair to get the generator hub to work. Seems bike shops do not do electric or electronic repair.
And we dropped off James front wheel, as apparently in a backup maneuver the wheel was smashed a bit and was way out of true. It was determined it could be tried but would probably not remain true. Thus a new rim and rebuild is required.
Tuesday I hoped to finish the electric work but alas took longer than anticipated with a couple trips to stores for parts. Finished it just as bikers arrived from their 35 mile ride. Went for short ride and again worked well charging phone from 38% to 42% in about 5 minutes of riding. Yahoo.
Thus we are all together again and taking a rest day. Everyone is excited. 9 days in a row of riding. Eat sleep ride even with support can be tiring. Duties today include taking the van into dealer to determine why check engine light is on again, pickup James’s wheel and obtain more oil for chains etc., and get food for next days, probably at Costco.
Discussed future days with potential trial campsites. Seems all the forest service official campgrounds are reserved, hence unavailable. And we are not sure how far we will or want to ride a day, hence even if we could reserve a site perhaps it would not be there. The sites Joe and I used on this section were bikers only sites. We will probably camp along the road as forest service land and pretty much open.
And interesting to see the number of riders on the trail. When Joe and I did this in 2012 we saw very few others although we knew they were there as people along the way would relay information that other riders were on trail, including a unicycler a few weeks ahead of us. But we all seemed to be travelling at about the same speed. The other day in Whitefish I saw probably 3-4 groups, as I did here in Columbia Falls yesterday. Amazing how popular it has become.
And life is good here at the Penner rest stop. Steve and Barb are taking very good care of us, feeding, driving, giving us excellent places to sleep, providing support, and generally making us feel good. Awesome!
Was a rough rest day. Visited mom in the alzheimer home and she was not having a good day. I admit it is hard to see ones relative in such a state. She does not recognize me or basically anyone just staring into space today. Two days ago was better as we congratulated ourselves for making her smile. As with everyone we have good days and bad, but it hit home. I had to say goodbye and we depart tomorrow for more rides. There is nothing more to be done here. My sister, Barb does a spectacular job of visiting mom and I appreciate it, but not much reward. Sometimes life is not all a garden of rose petals.
Warren and Colleen joined us today as shuttle drivers so we have two cars now. tomorrow we begin riding again. Will be nice to be back on the bike.