Rear Derailleur Number 2 - Donovan - 7/29/2006

Today was so hot that I could feel beads of sweat rolling down my back as I was riding. It was also so hot that as you're riding on the road, you can hear bits of tar popping/melting. It was like pop corn. I was later told that what's really happening is it's so hot that there are air bubbles/pockets from the tar in the road and when I'm riding over them, I'm popping those bubbles. It's that hot. Apparently when I called home that night, I was told (I don't have access to TV or the news on the road) that there's a heatwave going on throughout the whole country. We were later told by locals that the heat index was 115 degrees!

We entered the state of Illinois today with no Welcome to Illinois sign. I'm so sad. Why do they do this to me? I suppose it was because I'm on small country roads.

While riding today, we heard an ambulance and wondered if it was for me. Hehe. Here's some soy we finally decided to take a picture of. By now you've seen me with the 3 major crops we've run across. Corn, winter wheat and soy.

We were going through the Twylight Zone today because our cell phones kept on switching between Eastern and Central time zones. We ran across a woman cross country cyclist going Eastbound and she said the same thing was happening to her.

We stopped into a convenience store but unfortunately, the store was not yet opened with nothing on the shelves. I could see that the door was open and popped my head in. When I realized they had air conditioning, I went in and made my presence known. Two men came out from the back and I asked if I could just stay there for a little and bogart their air conditioning. They completely understood and welcomed us.

Afterward, we went into a gas station convenience store to find some food. The place just had basic gas station convenience store food. Not good enough for me. Anyhow, this man saw us riding and asked us questions. We must have asked him questions or he offered advice about road conditions. He said he'd come back with a map. A little while later, he finally came back. It took him a while because he actually made a copy of a detailed map for us. Unbelievable service!

With no food at the convenience store and a desire to hide from the heat, we went to a local restaurant (actually owned by one of the men in that not yet opened convenience store) for lunch. Everyone was very nice. They gave us pitchers after pitchers of water to drink and to fill our water bottles. They even washed out Dave's water bladder for him. Only bad thing about the restaurant (and this is true of all restaurants we've been to) is they smoke so damn much. There's no such thing as no smoking in restaurants like in New York City and the entire state of California. I miss that so.

Today, I was chased by 2 killer golden retrievers. Is that possible? Mean golden retrievers? I didn't think it was possible. But, these 2 goldens chased me down the street barking very meanly. Thing is, they're bigger than those stupid yappy dogs from the past. They also cornered me to the side of the road where I either had to run them over or fall/ride off the side of the road. Luckily neither happened as they finally retreated to their owner's calls. Scary goldens. Here's a picture of the best golden retriever in the world. Look how ferocious he looks eating that apple snack of his. Oh Arcea, I miss you!

With only 10 more miles to reach our hopeful destination for the day, we ride over these awful rumble strips. It's as wide as the road so there's no escaping it other than going on the wrong side of the road. It's there to warn us of some railroad tracks. Not sure why that's no necessary. I've ridden over plenty of railroad tracks and none of them had killer rumble strips. Anyhow, the rumble strips were so bad that it dislodged the shirt that Dave had on his ghetto rack and guess where it landed? Seeing as you've already seen the title of this day's entry, you probably guessed it - yes, his rear derailleur! Of course, it completely breaks the rear derailleur in half. Serenity now.

Anyhow, the shirt was so caught up in the rear cogs that we couldn't get it out. Had we been able to remove the shirt, Dave could have ridden his bike to a bike shop on single speed. But that was not an option. Lucky for us, good samaritans Dennis and Barbara stopped to help us. After deciding there was nothing we could do on the spot, they drove back to their house 7 miles back to get their station wagon. Once they came back with the station wagon, Dennis and Dave went to a bike shop 30 miles away to try to dislodge the shirt from the rear cogs and Barbara and I went back to her place to relax. Part of my relaxation was using their Internet.

An hour or so later, Dennis and Dave come back. Dave was very lucky that the bike shop had the rear derailleur he needed in stock (when we called earlier, they claimed no. They guys still went to the bike shop regardless because we need to dislodge the shirt from the rear cogs). The bikeshop took care of Dave. They even stayed open after their closing time. And, rear derailleur #2 cost less than rear derailleur #1.

Once home, Barbara invited us to stay with them for the night. Very kind of them because I didn't have it in me to re-pedal the 7 miles that we backtracked and the additional 10 miles we originally needed to do. Barbara made us a very nice beef and bell peppers stir fry for dinner. For dessert, we had coconut flavored popsicles. After doing our laundry and more Internet time, I fell asleep on a very comfortable Aeron mattress.