Well, not really. We never came close to getting our feet wet. The road is closed, but the pavement is intact.
If I'd had any Hill Slugs Waders Club cards left, I'd have given one to Chris.
We went to Roy's for the rest stop. This is the first time I've been there in their new location. The new space is huge, and the store was busy when we were there. I wish them the best of luck and a lawnmower. The place can't be seen from the road.
The ride was short, which was good, because I needed to save my legs for Tom's Warren and Sussex high point ridethe next day.
Monday I was off the bike and off from work. I took Jack up to Nazareth, PA, to take a tour of the Martin guitar factory. Our guide pretty much phoned it in, but it was worth seeing anyway.
We were using Google Maps on my phone to navigate. The return trip, I thought, would be entirely highways (78 to 31), but instead, we found ourselves exiting west of Clinton and turning onto Baptist Church Road.
Google Maps is secretly a Hill Slug.
We were at the church, so I stopped and we walked around. We weren't the only ones; a family was peering into the ruins too.
We were led home via 579 through Pittstown and Quakertown, then north of Sergeantsville to Ringoes, and finally back to Route 31.
Jim came over around 5:30 and we got to work on Gonzo. Two hours later I had a bike again.
We took Jim out to dinner to repay him for the help, and to celebrate his new job. Back home, I tightened up a loose shifter and put on the rear light, the headlight, and the computer. The new handlebars are thicker than the old ones, and I chose a thick bar tape too. As a result, the computer doesn't fit. The holder is half broken as well. But, this being Gonzo, there's nothing a little electrical tape can't fix or hide.
The light, which I used before without a saddlebag, was too big, and mounted less than ideally. It's bright enough, though, that I wasn't worried about being seen.
I lubed the chain, filled the tires, carried the bike upstairs to the front door, and went to bed.
I'm not naive enough to think that things would run smoothly the first time out. Before turning the lights out, I went back downstairs and packed some tools.
A few things can go wrong on a newly-built bike. Things can fall off, come loose, or otherwise explode.
I experienced all three.
Fall off: the rear light, which I retrieved and snapped back on;
Come loose: the rear brake, the new barrel adjuster being fussy (I'd found the original only after we'd put the brakes together);
Explode: the front inner tube, because, once every few years, I screw up and don't seat the tire quite right (this is when I discovered that I'd only packed one spare and one CO2 cartridge).
Never mind all that. I work in a lab full of tools. After I finished my lunch, I tightened the rear brake cable and housing:
I also walked up to Jay's Cycles on Nassau Street to pick up three tubes (two to take with me and one to leave in my office) and a new rear light.
The brake held for my trip home, but as I rode it became looser and looser. When I got home, I replaced the bad barrel with the original. All, it seemed, was well.
That was Tuesday. I've been squeezing the brake every time I walk by ever since. It's holding.
Despite a new fork, new bottom bracket, and new hub, Gonzo is still a tank. He's just not a fast bike. He's always struck me as a little hard to ride compared to my others. I'd always thought that was because it was winter or because I was hauling gear on a rack. Now that Beaker has taken his place, it's even more obvious how much effort it takes to get Gonzo moving, even when there's no load at all. For my entire commute on Gonzo on Tuesday, I was thinking, "I miss my Tommasini!"
Tomorrow, Tom is taking us out on a slow, flat ride. Many of us are bringing our slow bikes. I'm taking Gonzo. I made sure to be extra-ready: