Well I knew the honeymoon wouldn’t last forever. I’ve had great weather, mostly great roads, courteous drivers and only a few flats. That all changed on Friday.
Friday brought me into St. Ignace with a slight rubbing sound that I couldn’t pinpoint. The traffic and wind noise was too loud to figure out where it was coming from so I pulled off to a side road. There after a few minutes I found what was causing the noise. The rear wheel was rubbing on the fender. But why? It was because it was out of true. But why? Because the flange on the rear hub where the spokes attach broke. Literally the metal fractured and completely broke off.
I had to figure out what to do. There are no bike shops in St. Ignace or any “real” bike shops in Mackinaw City. With that fact in mind I decided to take the ferry like I originally planned and go to the island. On Mackinac Island there is one bike shop that works on personal bikes, at least that is what I was told. By a chance they had a cheap $90 Chinese made wheel. The guys at Mackinac Wheels lent me the tools so that I could remove the cluster and rotor and put them on the new wheel.
Even us Michiganians get confused! So here’s the low-down: Mackinac is the correct spelling for the Island, the Straits, the Fort, and the Bridge. Mackinaw is correct for the City. Both are pronounced “Mackinaw” with an aaaawwww, NEVER an ack! BTW, one is the French spelling-they arrived before the Brits, and the other is the English version c/o the British. Both were both trying to label the Native American word with their own spelling. Thus concludes your history lesson for the day. From Jennifers tublr blog. http://jennifersbigadventure.tumblr.com/post/124148768180/is-it-mackinaw-or-is-it-mackinac
With the new wheel on my bike I chose to take a test ride and go around the island. The 8.2 mile loop should have been a nice quick trip. Alas it was not. After getting a flat on the north end of the island the quick trip became a hassle.
Tired, dirty and sweaty I made it back to the shop. I bought a couple more tubes and Co2 cartridges. I left the island and made it to Mackinaw City. I tried calling all, well almost all, the local hotels and everyone is booked. One room for over $200 was at the Ramada so I kept calling. When I couldn’t find anything else available or cheaper I went to the Ramada only to find the guy in front of me taking that last room.
Back to not knowing where I would sleep. It is now 8 and the sun was getting lower and lower. I then changed my search from a comfy bed to a campground. I found the KOA and got a primitive site for the night. They have showers and laundry facilities but it was too late to do laundry, unless I wanted to be up close to midnight. So after a shower and cookies for dinner I turned in for sleep.
After the rains came overnight the morning came with all my stuff safe and dry. Other than a wet tent and bicycle I was good to go. Although when I rolled over I found it was already 9:30 in the morning. When I got up I was thinking about just staying the day there; however, when I talked to Jason at Latitude 45 in Petosky, who is the closest Surly dealer, he said that he worked today and was off the next couple of days. I wanted to get him the wheel before his weekend.
I set off after laundry and a flat tire. It is now my official latest start. 1:00 pm. On down the road at about 5.5 miles I got another flat. Once that was patched I moved on. But it wasn’t long before the tire went flat again and again and again. Yes four flats in the one day. So after hours of messing with fixing flats and replacing tubes I gave up. 11 miles for the day.
One couple, the Lablance’s, who stopped for gas where I was trying to fix my most recent flat wanted to give me a lift to the bike shop but didn’t have room in the minivan. They did however, take my wheel to the shop for me. So at least the wheel made to the shop so that Jason could look at it and see what needed to be done.
Tired and frustrated I walked across the street from the gas station hoping that the motel there had a room. They did and I checked in. I settled in for the night and decided to take Sunday off. I now have to wait to find out if the wheel will be covered by the warranty and if so will it be rebuilt or replaced. Once that all happens then how to get the wheel back to me. I don’t plan on staying around to find out. We will have to figure out where they can ship me the wheel and then I will need to find a shop so that I can put my cluster and rotor back on the replacement wheel. Then I will have to figure out what to do with the temporary wheel that I am riding on now. Do I send it home or my sisters house? Do I try to carry it? Or do I just sell or give it away?
Anyway the day off has done me well. All but finding out that I will not get to see Jen on my way though I have recovered and I’m ready to keep on riding early tomorrow. Wish me luck on this temporary wheel and that I don’t get any more flats.
Oh yeah I also want to thank Jim and Tracie for stopping to check on me. They had stopped to get gas and later when they came back I was still there. We talked for a while and they handed me some money and said to use it to get some new tubes and offered to give me a lift today if I needed it. It still amazes me at how generous and helpful people can be.