In a world increasingly preoccupied with throwaway materialistic things; where people are constantly busy earning money to pay for those things, or so their children can have those things;
This is the story of my dreams of travelling the world by bicycle. Because it's there. And because I dont want to die without experiencing the truly important things in life .

A sense of wonder and a sense of adventure.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Motel Bliss at the 4300km Mark

Day 38.

We have made it further East to Escanaba Michigan. This town of no real interest, is on Lake Michigan and we have a day off here to look around and in my case do a bit of maintenance that I have decided not to put off. In the last few days we have increased our distance a bit and have made up another day. A bonus day is great, like money in the bank that we can use when we please.
Adi Trying to Save Me From Roadside Finds.

Anyway Adi convinced me since we had a day off here to get another cheap motel. I didn’t need much convincing as I have decided to not only rotate my tires here but to also replace my freewheel and chain. I was hoping that my cheap 5 speed freewheel would manage to get across Canada but in the last few days it has been running increasingly roughly and since there is a bike shop in town where I can buy another cluster and chain, and since I have a motel room in which to clean and play with the Mercian, I may as well  tune it up. Adi’s bike with its more advanced cassette system and Schwalbe tyres needs no attention.

A New Chain & Cluster. Now Back to the Motel.
Adi has added up our kilometres and it appears that we have completed about 4300km of the expected 6500km. So I suppose that I shouldn’t feel too displeased that I need a new transmission. My chain wheel although in most peoples books dead long ago, is still functioning adequately, so should make the distance.

Rotate the Tyres & a Good Clean.
In the last few days we have bumped into a number of cycle tourists travelling across the US and are beginning to meet people who live in Nova Scotia so our destination of Halifax must be on the radar.

Michigan must be doing it tough in the recession as yesterday hanging out for lunch we constantly passed through towns with food outlets that had gone belly up so to speak. Once again I was reminded of our previous trip to the US in 2010 when owners of food places would shut up shop but forget to take the signs in or in any other way let the public know that they were no longer in business. And conversely premises that looked like they had died years ago, where on closer inspection, found to be still struggling on. If it wasn’t for the little electric open signs in the window I swear you often couldn’t tell the difference between a dead business and an operating one!

Open or Long Dead? Your Guess.
I think I would be dead if I had to stay in the US and Canada eating the junk food for another couple of months. We try to cook and buy decent food along the way but it’s tough. And that’s coming from someone like me who doesn’t mind eating a fair amount of rubbish food.

Biscuits Never Last Long with Adi. "Take the Wrapper Off First!"
The only problem with our motel room is that it does not have coffee making facilities. This is always a risky business when you can’t do a brew the legal way. It means that I have to fire ‘Ken’ up in the bathroom. I must ensure that I am well away from the smoke and heat detectors and that I do not over prime or over pressurise the fuel tank. So far so good although I still have dinner to prepare as Adi went out and got us a couple of steaks. Adi likes to occupy her time washing clothes and finding ways to dry them. Since we don’t have a motor , our car park can be used for more productive work.

Motel Operation Area.

We have both lost weight although I haven’t lost my sweet tooth and Adi still can’t t put a biscuit down. I have decided that to keep the weight off I will need to do a bit of regular bike racing when I get home and regular sit ups. I can’t quite work out which of these would be more boring but it needs to be done. I think I will build up one of my retro steel racing frames with an 11speed Dura Race group set and mix it up in the C grade. Nothing too serious but regular exercise none the less.

Like everywhere petrol is going up over here. But unlike in some countries the advise given to Americans to save on fuel costs is to get your thirsty dinosaur tuned and pump up the tyres. No mention of trading it in on something more fuel efficient, or God forbid to use it less!

I have to say that I am looking forward at this stage to polishing off the final 2500kms and heading home to good ol New Zealand.

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