This is my 10th bike trek. Today was one of the more frustrating days in the saddle.
1. I didn’t realize how much damage my wheel endured due to the broken spoke. As I departed the Amtrak around 8.20AM, it was apparent I’d need to go straight to a bike shop.
2. Hmmmmm, bike shop in South Bend Indiana? Pro Form Bikes! About 5 miles away, I found a cab (minivan) and had a charming conversation with my driver who proudly wore his “Make America Great Again” hat. Trump, Pence, Cubs/Yankees baseball, Notre Dame football, farming subsidies, and Notre Dame football were jammed into our 15 minutes together.
3. The bike shop didn’t open until 10 but there was a Starbucks nearby. So, I did some writing and watched how Starbucks be making some serious money!!!
4. Inside the bike shop, I credit my Eddie Merkxx shirt for getting me preferential attention. Initially, they were stacked with repairs. The owner was kind enough to fit me in. Even came to Starbucks to let me know he was finished fixing the spoke.
5. I brought him a gift card from Starbucks and got my bike. A quick bite to eat and a trip to the post office to ship some stuff home and I was on my way. A quick stop at Notre Dame and then 40ish miles to Michigan City.
6. Then 2 miles later.. another spoke breaks. Admittedly, I’m +15 pounds heavier than my normal weight. Maybe 25 pounds off my optimal cycling weight. With a backpack weighing another 10-12 pounds, I suspect that was my downfall. So I buy a new wheel, ship the old one back, and pedal away again…it’s now 130p.
7. The visit to Notre Dame was FANTASTIC! Such a pretty university. Stanford-esque.
8. The ride to Michigan City was uneventful. Riding the coast is my preferred route. Riding inland, you find yourselves on some desolate roads which can be mind-bending. Speaking of roads, Indiana, you must do better. AWFUL pavement. Though the bike routes were marked. That was nice.
9. Tomorrow, we are off to St. Joseph. Another 45 miles. Two big days -- 95+ miles -- coming after that.