W8: 桐梓 - China Blues - CycleBlaze

October 31, 2020

W8: 桐梓

It was actually more of a laundry day than it was an anything else. Obviously, I could have done laundry in Suiyang, but the room I was in rather obviously had nowhere to hang clothes and the air was so full of water even when it wasn't actively pissing down rain that it seemed pointless.

Today's highlights included me not setting my hotel room on fire when the kettle shorted out and flipped the circuit breakers, the hotel ayi also not setting the hotel room on fire when she flipped the breakers back without unplugging the kettle, and a very long wait at the local bike shop for a bit of minor "this is the next real city for at least a week" check-up stuff (including another broken spoke) because the mechanic, who wasn't there when I showed up last night at 6:10 (for a closing time of 8:30) also wasn't there when I showed up today at 3:30 because I was apparently supposed to realize that "anytime after 9am" meant I should show up at exactly 9am.

He showed up at 5:45 and I'm just going to leave the description of services at my not bothering to mention to him the fiddly bits checking up that are beyond my own skillset cause I wasn't real keen on his skillset. 

need to get better at wrenching. But the good mechanics in China are actively against the idea of good customers fixing shit themselves (cause apparently this might somehow lead to my deciding to buy things online and not come into the shop at all) and really don't want to teach. And that's without getting into the dynamic of most mechanics meeting me when I'm touring which means that I am Queen Cyclist to be treated with a extra fine set of kid gloves, to not to be allowed to get my hands dirty, to often have them refuse payment, and to sometimes have them treat me to meals. 

The trio of 11 year olds I met at the shop were cool though. And in some ways better at thinking on their feet than the actual mechanic. 

The doohicker that attaches the Rohloff's shifting mechanism is unscrewed with a coin shaped slot that perfectly fits a coin. I usually use one of the souvenir drilled coins in my handlebar bag. That I'd left at the hotel with all the rest of my luggage. The mechanic was well ready to actually damage this very important nigh on irreplaceable part when one of the kids found me a coin and another, after it turned out to be very tight, came up with the idea of using a pliers on the coin.

Work got done. Laundry got done.

I failed to find soft tofu over noodles and accepted that I would have to get soft tofu over rice only for it to be nothing at all like the amazing amazing-sauce of the former dish and to instead be the most disappointing meal of the trip. However, I supplemented this disappointment with ice-cream-matcha flavored Oreos so dinner wasn't a complete bust.

Today's ride: 10 km (6 miles)
Total: 2,764 km (1,716 miles)

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