Day 10: Really bad start but... - I'm your Huckleberry - CycleBlaze

July 14, 2016

Day 10: Really bad start but...

“Jim said that bees won't sting idiots, but I didn't believe that, because I tried them lots of times myself and they wouldn't sting me.”
Mark Twain - Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

What a morning! Perfect conditions. Sunny. Warm, but not too warm, and I was coming off a great night's sleep.

I had just rolled out, snapped a couple of pics of a pretty corn field when I decided to move my saddle back to it's original position.

You may remember my saddle sore? Well I had turned the saddle slightly to the left because of it, the idea being to take pressure of, well, the pressure point.

"So, says I, "why not move the saddle back into it's prior position?"

I loosened the bolt, turned the seat/seat tube and re-tightened the bolt. That's when I heard, and felt, the thunk.

Shit.

I knew immediately that the bolt on the seat tub collar, the little round thing that holds the seat at the correct height, had broken.

Shit.

If the seat doesn't stay in position the bike is virtually un-ride-able, unless you fancy standing the whole way down the river, which I don't. Even Huckleberry Finn wouldn't do that.

So I rode back (standing) to a high school I had seen a little farther back and found the athletic director working on the fields. He was able to drill out the half of the bolt that was stuck on one side but in doing so destroyed the threads, not that it mattered because I didn't have that size threaded bolt anyway. Still, I was pleased to at least get that far.

Since I always carry a selection of metric bolts and matching wing nuts (wing nuts because if, for some reason, I don't have the correct tool they are still usable) and managed to McGiver a system that held the collar tight enough to hold the seat post into position, at least for the time being.

The funny thing is, I used to carry an extra seat post collar and for some stupid reason I took it out of my took kit just recently. I guess that makes me a moron!

Anyway, I was good to go, at least for the time being, and until Winona, about 20 miles ahead, where I would find a bike shop.



But aside from a low grade worry about my saddle stability, the next 20 miles was a dream, the best yet.

I rolled into the little town of Kellogg and found the most impressive "Honor Roll" display I have yet seen, in Europe or the United States. Most monuments honor fallen military service men and woman, some only those that have fallen, but in Kellogg Minnesota they honor military service personnel, paramedics, police officers and fire fighters, all of who risk their lives and make sacrifices to serve the public.

I was impressed and told the waitress inside the little diner where I downed another order of french toast, and eggs.

"It's new," she said (and who's name I can no longer remember). "We get a lot of compliments on it."

She then lingered a little longer than was normal after looking at my bike outside.

"Have you ever thought of bike touring?" I asked her, having sensed that what was on her mind.

She gave a bit of a shy look, though I knew that was the correct question.

"I'm not in good enough shape."

Of course that doesn't matter and I told her so. By the time the conversation ended, and my 3rd cup of coffee was drained, I believe I had her seriously thinking about touring. I hope so anyway. Another convert.

Early morning skies
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Memorial to all who serve our country and community
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Small sample of local citizens who severed and who's names are engraved in bricks on the surface of the monument.
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It looks like I doctored this photo but this is how it looked. Okay, I cropped it a little but I'm talking colors here, that's how it looked.
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After Kellogg I was on back roads through pretty farms and natural habitat. About 10 miles in I rode past a group of 4 people sitting in the middle of a field, surrounded by pick-up trucks, seemingly yucking it up. I rode past with mild curiosity but the farther I away I rode the more my curiosity deepened, until I was about 100 yards past and when I stopped my bike.

After a few seconds of thought I turned my bike and rolled back and right for a few hundred feet down the gravel road there they were sitting.

"Okay," I asked as I rolled up. "I've got to know. What are you all doing sitting here in this field."

They all laughed. "Just sitting here talking," the all said in a different form but close enough and then all started laughing. Their happiness was infectious.

"We are dog trainers," the woman said. "The dogs are taking a rest," and she motioned to the trucks and the little dog cages.

So, they trained hunting dogs and entered them in competitions. They get together a few days a week to practice, though I also gathered part of the fun was sitting around bull-shitting.

"What about you?" One of them asked.

I stood and talked almost 30 minutes having a good 'ol time talking to them, and I feel they got a kick out of me, since I am a little crazy too, as those of you who know may confirm.

What a great "meeting on the road."

From there it was on the Winona, and the bike shop, and not a moment too soon. Twice the seat dropped, and the second time I could no longer tighten it. I would ride the last 2 miles out of the saddle.

It was at the bike shop that I met Robby who is on the Northern Tier riding cross-country. We chewed the fat about each others trip and had a nice lunch at a little bar across the street before riding in opposite directions.

It was an eventful day and one high on the list of good days on the bike.

After the bike shop and lunch and so forth it was close to the end of the day and time to find a campsite, which I did about 10 more miles down the road. It even had wifi and I watched the recap of the Tour de France in my tent.

What a great day!

c'est fini

Mississippi River Damn Number 5
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Army Corps of Engineers Logo on building
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I saw some locks last year in the U.K. but nothing like this. That's a hell of a lock.
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The dog club with George the champion hunting dog.
What a great group!
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Cross-Country rider Robby
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Today's ride: 51 miles (82 km)
Total: 612 miles (985 km)

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