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I still use the bike shop that served me very well during my working days when I commuted to the office. I would drive 30 miles to a lot and ride the last ten. During the winter, I would often park much closer to the office which allowed me to ride year round. Travis Cycle was just about the half way on the long ride. Many Fridays, I would drive to the office, ride my bike the 30 odd miles home, and on Saturday I would ride back to get my car. I had a couple of questions about my road bike and I also need to do more riding in anticipation for two bike tours. A check of my go to weather site, Weather Underground, predicted some really good riding weather. Sixty degrees with a bit of wind was just too inviting for the first long ride of the season and I decided to make the trek to Taunton. I was in the traveler mode mentally which translates into riding at the speed of a turtle. I always get there but am never first. Actually if I want to keep the theme of “always”, I’m always the last to arrive but with the smell of the roses creating an aura around me.
Many of the roads I ride at one time were the major routes between cities and towns of this part of New England. Border crossings and mileage marker posts are usually made of concrete painted white. The signs are usually pressed cast iron with lead frames. The roads have very little traffic and are not to far from the high speed animal death traps.
I was also getting acquainted with my new Garmin Edge Touring GPS which allowed me to get off the usual route and try out more remote roads. It worked out fine and added a few extra miles to the outbound ride. The young wrench was impressed that I was doing such a long ride so early in the season. I tried to act modest about the miles but inside I was gloating. As to the bike question. I was hearing a clicking noise I though could be my bottom bracket. Joe Travis, the owner, asked me which side the clicking was happening.
“The right side I said”.
Joe told me if it was my bottom bracket the clicking would be from both side. He suggested that the clicking is either my pedal or crank arm. A little grease should fix that lickity split. Everything worked out fine and the 30+ miles to the shop was a can-o-corn. However…………….. I now had another 30 miles to get home. That’s when I realized why the wrench was so impressed with the long early season ride. Needless to say, it was tough but that’s where the past touring experience comes into play. I have had many days like this while touring and found that slowing down and paying really close attention to the little things around, like the birds, dogs, scenery and all that stuff, really melts the miles away. I dropped out of that zone a couple of times but was able to get back into it easily and soon enough I only had twenty miles to go. Crap.