Really Tired of My Front Derailleur - Hancock - 7/11/2006
 

Last night's camping wasn't so bad.  For a pre-breakfast, we tried to use up some dehydrated tofu that Dave's friend had given him.  I opted to throw that in some miso soup mix that he had.  Talk about nasty.  It tasted like a sponge and/or cardboard.  After that appetizer breakfast attempt failed, we went to Pecks Market where we bought lots of fruits and muffins and yogurt for breakfast.  Here I am literally at the front entrance just sitting on their display bench and enjoying my breakfast in the comforts of an air conditioned building.  I have no shame.  And, hey, I paid for the food.  Sheit, I was the thinnest person walking into that grocery store - Pecks should have paid me to be a live model for their store.

After a delicious breakfast, we tooled around with my front derailleur some more in the parking lot.  This probably took a good 1-2 hours just adjusting, test riding, adjusting, test riding.  As it stands right now, the bottom of my thumb is so tender from grippping my handlebar so hard in an attempt to use my 4 other left fingers to shift.  This is so wrong.  I should not have to use this much power to change gears!

Today was another hard day of climbing.  I only wonder how much better I could be if I had properly changing gears.  To no surprise, my chain slipped again.  This time, I had to get out a loud, G.D. (use your imagination - it's not that hard).

After we put the chain back on, we pedaled to a nice roadside "deli" of sorts where we bought a jug of water and took full advantage of their shaded picnic table.  After whipping out our own groceries for lunch, we just took a nap on the benches.  The owner lady was so nice.  When I woke up, she asked if she had made too much noise for us.  We played again with the derailleur and again, it took up a lot of our riding time.  Mind you, every time Dave "fixes" my derailleur, I am content with it on my test rides.  But somehow when I'm really riding, the damn thing rubs and slips again.  I just don't understand it.  The original/selling bike put on the derailleur, Dr. Ed adjusted it at least 3 times, my bike shop did it another time and Dave has done it endless times.  What's going on?  Anyhow, here's a fun sign at the pitstop.

It was finally 4:00pm when we left the deli.  The woman knew we needed to get to Hancock, NY (20 miles up and down more hills) and she doubted we could do it in 2 hours because she knows the terrain; also, she had some cyclists come by a few weeks back and they said it took them all day to get from Hancock to her store.  Much to my surprise, we did it in less than 2 hours.  It's quite an amazing feat considering the state of my derailleur.

In Hancock, we stayed with Gene.  Dave met Gene a week earlier when riding towards Manhattan.  Gene is a sweet jolly man who also has a Brazilian exchange student, Dan, staying with him.  When we came, we knocked and no answer.  So, we just rested on the porch and made phone calls.  After a while, I realized that I heard some noises in the house and tried the front door.  It's hard for me to get used to it, but people tend to leave their front doors open in smaller towns.  At this point, Dan finally comes out.  No worries, I was cooling down out front anyway.  After a nice shower, we walked to the grocery store where I bought ingredients to make Gene (and us) a nice home cooked meal.  Funny thing about "town" is we saw a movie theater that only had showings on the weekends.  I guess they'd make no money on keeping a theater open during the week when the population is only 100 and the movie going population is probably 20!

Back home, I made a nice dinner consisting of a spinach salad (sous chef Dave was in charge), pasta, chicken marsala and roasted brocolli.  Talk about yum!  After dinner, Gene showed me how to play the lap dulcimer.

Opening up his house more to us, Gene let me have the master bedroom and he slept on a twin bed in his instrument/play room.  I tried to take the smaller room but he would have none of that.  Woo hoo - we also got to do our laundry.  I love these host families :-)