Brian's Grand 'I Told You So'

Trip Start May 22, 2009
Trip End Feb 16, 2010

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Just before 6am I awoke to the first sounds of thunder.  After a beautiful day yesterday, and a clear night, this was not what I wanted to hear.  Having planned to head out from Olympia, we were stuck while shower after shower drenched everything around. 

A quick run into town revealed a hostel that only cost 1 Euro more than the campground (major rip off).  The debate of what to do to avoid the rain began:  stay at the campground and do nothing for another day hoping that it would be OK to move tomorrow, stay at the hostel and do nothing, or cycle in the rain.  Olympia is a small town with only one site, so it was discouraging to think of staying and spending money with nothing to do. 

The debate took us until lunchtime with time and patience both running short.  Finally we decided to set out.  But upon leaving, I couldn't shift my bike into first.  Bring a large hill that we needed to start up, that was an important part.  Brian adjusted, but then I couldn’t shift OUT OF first.  Back and forth and adjustment after adjustment we went.  Then, after one adjustment, the ratcheting in my grip shift system let go completely. 

This was a developing problem Brian’s been watching for awhile now and encouraging me to fix.  This would entail completely replacing the grip shifts on both handlebars.  Instead, I just covered the break with duct tape hoping that it would hold together.  It did, but only for so long. 

After some finking, the deralier would still shift between 2nd and 3rd, and I was able to manage it without too much grinding.  Of course, the first obstacle was a rather large hill.  Without a low gear, I had to walk it which started to make Brian even more upset.  I could just tell he was reliving all of the times he’d encouraged me to replace this while we were in France, but I had refused. 

A few meters down the road, Brian notices that his back tire is starting to get a bit flat.  Not at all what he needed right now!  I thought he was going to loose it.  First me, then my bike, then his, and not some rain!  Argh!

After a few km’s and a few cooling showers, the vein on Brian’s forehead finally went down again.  I did my best to cycle with limited gears and not complain (it was my own fault after all for not listening to him).  Maybe this has been what I’e been working up to:  cycling without first gear.  Cycling was becoming easier for me, so I needed the next challenge!  I have heard of people doing long trips in fixed-gear bikes. 

Remarkably, a town along the way had some cycle shops.  The first had some parts, but no tools to change them (Friday he kept saying(.  The 2nd had the ability, but no parts.  All seem sure we can find what we need in Kalamata, but that’s at least another 3 days cycle away.  And if we don’t find it there, it’s remote hilly territory until Athens. 

But on the bright side, we only got a little bit wet while cycling.  The campsite that was supposed to be closed let  us in.  The man running the campground invited us to have coffee with him.  We’re right on the sea again and got to see a beautiful sunset.  We’ve been invited to help ourselves to the mandarin trees.  The lightening is giving us a show playing over the sea while darkness descends.  We’re even dry - for now...
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