I rode Gene's bike down to the pop machine in the morning and noticed that his headset and rear hub were a little loose. He has also been complaining of some clicking noise which we thought was the bottom bracket. Unfortunately we don't have the heavy duty tools to deal with anything too major. However, since we are still kinda in my home territory, I knew of a good bike shop not too far away.
The plan was to get up at 6:30 and be on the road by seven. The alarms did ring on time, but we didn't seem to get on the road until almost eight. We ran into our first dirt road before long too, so that slowed us down a bit. We made it into Bloomington-Normal just as the shops were opening. We bought some more food supplies in case we had any more trouble with the stove, then we headed to the bike shop.
Vittesse Cycle Shop
Vittesse was our first shop of the day. They were short on mechanics, so they could only tighten down the headset and hub and recommend that we make an appointment to get the rest checked out. Since the bike was definitely rideable, we decided to just head on up the road to another shop. Russel's Schwinn Shop
Russel's had some extra people around so they were able to look at the bike a little more. They tightened the bottom bracket and made some other adjustments. Gene seemed happy with this, so we moved on.
We started to get a little lost after this. We were getting out of territory that I knew, and the roads were getting kinda screwy too. To top it off, I got two flat tires in a row, both pinch flats. Unfortunately, I was accidently carrying spare tubes with Schraeder valves instead of Presta, so I just kept patching the tubes that I had.
My tire starting getting really flat again just as we got to the bottom of a long and winding road. It was getting dark and we were not going to make it to the campground that we were shooting for. Gene knocked on one door and asked if we could set up camp in their yard (the city park next door said no camping). The man of the house said "I would assume not." After I made some rude comment about the American people, Gene proceeded to ask at another house where a guy was talking on the cordless phone outside.
Success! Gene was much braver than I would be. I was ready to camp off in this meadow where I had just spotted a deer. Anyway, I just patched the tire again and now I am off to bed.