Day 36, Missouri
From Springfield across town to the bike shop
I was reluctant to leave my comfortable room, the best I've had all summer: spacious, well furnished, no odor, and not too expensive (Bayside). But I wanted to visit the bike shop even more, and that was 14 miles across town. So I had to pull up stakes.
Jenny found a good route through town, and I followed it to a tee. "Go six miles and turn left at McDonalds," and that sort of thing. So I was there at the "A & B Cycle" shop when it opened at 10:00 am. The place has an automatic door, so like 6 years before, I just wheeled the bike in, and with it proceeded to the shop area.
Right away I was greeted by a mechanic, who introduced himself as Allen. I told him what I needed: new tires, new odometer, new gloves, a few tools, and a check-out of the back dérailleur.
Allen put my bike on a rack, no need to remove my luggage because it was so small; he commented that he usually sees touring types take 20 minutes or more just to remove everything so that he can even see the bike, let alone work on it.
Allen working on my bike
I had a thousand miles on these tires, and they were not worn out, but they would have been soon, and I wanted to give this shop my business. The odometer was on its last leg, and had been giving me trouble for a couple of weeks. Good riddance on that. My old gloves had been with me from the "Hello America" days, and the last time I had washed them (yesterday) the gel pads had fallen out of one. Both were shot. I needed a spoke wrench, size 0, and a few tire and tube repair things.
Allen adjusted the back dérailleur to his satisfaction, then asked me to give the bike a spin. I returned saying the gears are not changing as smoothly as I would like, so he took the bike for a spin, and said that I could use a little help with my technique. I found that I had developed a habit of changing gears too fast without letting off the pressure between cogs.
Allen taking my bike for a spin.
All in all, I enjoyed my visit to "A & B Cycle", and talking with Allen. I and learned a lot, and with new tires I was all set.
But in fact I didn't feel like leaving town quite yet, so I pedaled a mile to a motel and like a bloated plutocrat, checked in.
Then I went shopping for a new shirt. I had been wearing this one since the beginning of this trip, plus much of my recent A.T. hike. The shirt still looked good on the front side, but the back was terribly sun-bleached and looked awful.
On the way back from the store I found an apple tree loaded with ripe fruit. What a find, especially right in town.
Miles pedaled today: 15