Wednesday, 30 September 2009

On my return, bits I left out and bits that came out (of me and Leonardo)

My flight back was relatively uneventful aside from a bit of turbulence and my seat mate. She was a older Jewish woman from the suburban Montreal municipality next to one I work in. I was surprised to learn that despite the fact that she enjoys the right to be a member of "my" Library for no charge (something coveted by a great many people) she had yet to darken the door of the institution. I encouraged her to do so, as the objective fact is that it is a very good library for Quebec.

I say for Quebec, as this province has a lot to learn about about making good public libraries commonplace. All through B.C. and Alberta, I used public libraries to make updates to this blog. The hours were good and the service very welcoming given that I was a random, somewhat sweaty and breathless stranger on a bike! The one in Nanton, Alberta had a "large type" keyboard and trackball available for those who needed it.To avoid alarming the Maternal Unit, I left a few things out of my blog entries. One of which was about the only unpleasant encounter I had on the trip. Shortly after I turned out the light for the night in Fort MacLeod there was a somewhat imperious knocking at my door. When I answered the door, there was a younger (about 20, possibly younger given that he was driving a fake wood paneled station wagon (i.e. his mom's)) man in wannabe hip-hop garb (he was white) wanting to know "Where was he?" as I obviously wasn't the person (or persons) he was looking for. I informed him that I had no idea who or what he was talking about and that I had only arrived and rented the room that afternoon. He left without any further incident but once he had, I moved Leonardo inside my room as there was something a little off about the guy and his presumably drug-related desires.

Another thing I left out was that in the evening of the day I was at Ainsworth Hot Springs, I was relaxing in the bath when I examined one of the very minor wounds I got on the Myra Canyon day. I picked a bit at one in my leg and removed a bit of wood from it. This showed to me that bits of wood were still in me, so I applied gentle force to a wound on my chest that had been nagging me. I was quite surprised when a large splinter easily popped out.
It had been six days since the accident! One could argue that this proves the healing effect of the Hot Spring!

The two days featuring significant rail trail portions, also saw a lot of dust and/or mud building up on my legs. This is one of the more illustrative of the pictures.
Leonardo suffered a flat tire (the second in over 7000 kilometers, so no worries) on the trip. When I took him out of the lock up at the hostel in Fernie, his front tire was flat. Upon examination, there was a piece of what appeared to be wire from a steel belt of a car tire embedded in the tire. I removed it and replaced in the inner tube. In hindsight, I think I heard and ignored a warning sound the day. I had heard a regular, speed related thud. A few days later, I heard a similar sound and when I investigated found a largish piece of tire wire embedded in my front tire. This piece was long enough to hit the fender every time it went around. Had I left it, it might well have snapped off, leaving an inner tube puncturing bit to work its way inward. When I have the time, I am going to carefully inspect the tires and remove any bits of debris I find. When I was doing a mid-trip inspection of the tires, I was a little bit shocked at all the dents and bits of embedded sand, etc.

I also suspect that some (or all of) the gears on Leonardo need to be replaced. There is often a noise when in the middle front gear that doesn't sound right. Given the relatively intense use he has seen, this isn't that surprising.

As well, the wiring on the bike computer is iffy. Luckily, I have a spare set of that, so it will be very easy to solve the problem.

Apart from that, Leonardo seems to have arrived safely, but I haven't checked the wheels to see if they good whacked out of true during the trip. The box Greyhound sold me was a bit big so there was the potential for shake damage.

Some pictures of the trip are up on my Picasa site. Most are under "Across the Rockies by bike" but some are under "Edward David." I will leave you to guess which ones.

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