Quite a day, once more! Fortunately, I was spared the rain, but instead I got brutal headwinds! Haha that is of course, what little headwind I was allowed..
Woke up this morning first at 4am. Yes, in a hotel bed. Somehow, I fell back to sleep round 5, and then totally slept till 9am. I think the last time I slept that late was months ago! When I woke up, I almost freaked out because I’d slept in… Then I remembered: I’m on vacation!
So, I was huffing and puffing along, down (or should i say up?) rt 30 west, when I start hearing that all too familiar hiss. Get off the bike, and sure as all, I was losing air in the tire I’d patched just last night. With like, just 33 miles on it! What’s that about? What really was the problem is kinda embarrassing: I didn’t have a spare tube to fix it with. Looked in my saddle bag and nope, no patch kit. Shit. I was seriously about 30 miles from the nearest bike shop in Altoona. How’d I know this? I looked on my yelp and saw that cannondale was nearby, so I called and they confirmed that the don’t sell anything there. Bummer. Here I was, a total loser, walking down the road asking people about nearby gas stations. I called, I checked, nobody could fix the flat. Damn.
I’m walking past a house and a woman pulls up and asks if I had a problem. Next thing I know, this awesome woman, Michelle, was helping me load my bike in her suv to find a place that would fix it. Of course, I’m still in Bedford! She calls up the main office there and asks if her friend is working. He’s not, but we go anyway.
Cannondale fixed my flat! They also let me peer round what used to be their high-end manufacturing floor. Sooo sad. They used to build amazing bikes there and the ‘handbuilt in USA’ was proudly shown on the frames. I’d know, the bike I had been riding when I was hit was my beloved ‘Micki’, a C’Dale R700si that actually was born in Bedford. The guys I met there and told my story were awesome, and even gave me a t-shirt to prove I was there!
Much thanks goes out to Michelle and Cannondale’s Bedford staff. If you’re reading this, shoot me a message and let’s keep in touch!
I got back on my pedals just after 5pm. That was pretty much two hrs to fix my flat. Not bad! I rode up, and then up some more. By the time I got to the top of Mt Ararat, a measely 2500 ft of climbing, I found a spot and set up camp.
Here I am. I’m safe, and glad I can keep riding!
I have a crapload of miles to do tomorrow if I think I’ll make it to Pittsburgh by nightfall! Wish me luck!