Bicycle Maintenance and the Art of Zen

Trip Start Jun 22, 2010
Trip End Sep 21, 2010

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Where I stayed
America's Best Motel, McMinnville
Devil's Lake State Park, Lincoln City
Jessie B. Honeyman State Park, Florence

Flag of United States  , Oregon
Monday, July 26, 2010

Another two days to get back onto the coast, I cycled from P-land to McMinnville where there wasn't a campsite to be had for love nor money! So I booked into a motel - America's Best. 

Mise: Your cheapest room please?
Bean an T: our cheapest has no air con, no fridge, no microwave...
Mise: No problemo! Here's my I.D. and my...
Bean an T: Your Irish?
Mise: indeed an' I am an' shur top o' th morning to ya and shamrocks and pots of gold
Bean an T: I'm Irish!! Well, part Irish. Well, we're not that busy so I'll bump you up. 
Mise: May the blessings of the little folk rain down upon yer head and may the leprechauns dance a jig on yur enemies grave...

Not my proudest moment but the bump up meant I could chill a few beers while sprawled out in front of trash t.v. The transition back from Portland living to life in a tent was gonna have to wait another day. 

The weather was forecast to be hot next day and I'd some big miles to do so I hit the road early. I stopped in a place called Otis, just outside Lincoln City, at a great diner - whoppers of plates of food. Not knowing what time of day I had, I ordered coffee and pie. Then checked the time - 10.30am. Nice!   So I managed to make it to Lincoln City by lunchtime.

Back on the coast and it's windy and fresh and there's a few more bikers than I've seen in a while. Staying at the State Park in Lincoln City I bumped into my buddy Gunther the German again. He's full of beans having taken it very slowly down the coast I missed on my sidebar to Portland.

On again the next morning south on 101 towards Waldport. The scenery along the way - once the early fog lifted - was beautiful. Gunther caught up with me as I stood taking a photo and we cycled on together - good to do for a change

We'd been talking during the day of bike problems and such so once we'd landed at our campsite for the night we both proceeded to do a bit of bike maintenance. Gunther diagnosed my back tire as being in need of a top up. While I went to get my pump he started fiddling round with the valve - it was different to his and so he was curious. When I got back, the back wheel was flat as a pancake - no prob, I had the pump! Except, I couldn't get the pump to fit!! Tried Gunther's pump. Nope. Slight panic...the nearest town with a bike shop was 40 miles back. All my own fault!!!

Trying not to panic, or slap The Big G on the back of the noggin for letting all the air out, I took a few deep breaths and decided to ask the H-U-N-K (as my Dad would say) of a Park Ranger if he had any solutions but he was stumped. His only idea was to see if anyone else staying had one - someone, somewhere in the campsite must have a similar valve and a corresponding pump. And that's how I got to speak to everyone in the state park! 

Mise: Hi! You don't happen to have bikes with you, do you?
Unsuspecting Campers: Yes!
Mise: Would you mind if I looked at the valve....oh, no, sorry, not what I'm looking for....thanks though!

A kid on a bike took interest in me ("what kinda country are you from?") and followed me round. I ended up gathering a few different types if inflating devices that I knew wouldn't work but people were so nice and insistent on trying to help, I couldn't not at least try them. It wasn't looking good although I'd located one bike with the same valve but the people weren't around - them having a pump with them was my only hope! Otherwise, I'd have been looking for a lift 40 miles back to Newport. Not happy.

Suddenly, jogging in slo-mo towards me (I'm using slight poetic license here...) was Hunky Ranger Man.

"'I fixed it!"    
"Ya wha' ?"
"I phoned the bike shop and they figured out why your pump didn't work"

My Hero!

Turns out there was a bit in the pump that had to adjust to fit my valve but dopey here hadn't thought to read the instructions! Panic over. ALL my own fault!

But there's more.... Next morning I was rolling out of the tent - there's no lady-like way to emerge from your tent. Not first thing in the morning anyway. 

"Sorry to disturb you so early..."
It was another biker who'd probably arrived after I'd gone to bed. God love him, I could barely make out where he was standing as my eyes hadn't fully opened and my panther-like senses were still in the tent. Anyway, once I'd figured out where he was standing, he handed me this tiny "attachment" bit. Turns out that when my hero rang the bike shop, this biker dude was in the shop. The shop said to him, just in case the pump doesn't work, would you drop this into the campsite (they knew he was coming my way)! 

How's THAT for lovely people!! My Guardian Angel working overtime! 

And just the cherry on the cake...I was stopped for a cuppa later in the morning and about 5 minutes in, a lady came over and said she'd turned off my rear light coz she figured I'd forgotten. I had. Nice one!

In 24 hours I probably used up all my good luck. Time to start doing more random acts of kindness to redress the balance. 

1,000 miles on the clock!! Woo Hoo!! 
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