Saturday, August 2, 2014

Putting the bikes back together went really well for B, and they were in good shape with no noticeable stresses from the flight! The other food place near the hotel was Tim Horton's, so we went there for lunch.  Peter and Susan picked us up at 1:00 PM and we headed out for a wonderful tour and then dinner, but first we stopped at Canadian Tire for 2 cans of bear spray (not that we were expecting bears, but maybe a moose or ferocious dog or two).  Our first stop of interest was Cape Spear, where we saw the very interesting pair of light houses, 1858 and 1955 (the light was transferred to the new concrete structure).  Additionally, at Cape Spear, and very exciting indeed, was a WALRUS.  He had just arrived at Cape Spear that day, August 2nd, having made a poor choice of iceberg to rest on, and ended up in St. John's!  We then drove up to Signal Hill and looked back towards the Cape Spear area and saw a whale breach - very exciting!  We stopped en route to look down at St. John's from a very nice vantage and saw the place where the wedding will be on August 31st.  Our last stop was Quidi Vidi (qui dividi; pronounced by the locals as "Kiddy Viddy"), which was really a nice contrast to the historic sites and very fun to see - a narrow bay with shanty buildings on stilts and a local brewery and an artists atelier, which was closed due to a wedding taking place. Before dinner, we went to Peter and Susan's place and met their dog Glasgow, then we had a really nice dinner at the Yellowbelly Brew Pub. Before bed, we did a load of washing and hung it to dry overnight - all squeaky clean for our ride start in the morning!

Friday, August 1, 2014

We've arrived in St. John's Newfoundland! We had a very nice ride out to Sydney, BC last night and packed up our bikes for traveling with us as baggage (lower seat, lower and turn handle bars, reverse peddles to the inside, deflate tires, and slip into the oversize, heavy gauge plastic bags we had picked up at the airport the previous weekend on a ride-by).  We woke Friday morning, August 1st, feeling good-anxious (preparing ourselves for the trip) and were ready for the 4:30 shuttle to the airport (the shuttle driver needed some help from B to figure out how to slip in the bikes, and all went well).  The airport check-in staff were really helpful and remembered us from our two rides out to ask them about how to manage things effectively and to pick up the bags - they were excited for us now that we were actually starting the trip!  On the flight leg to TO, the third person seated in our row, Mr Nelson, was also headed out on a pair of distance rides and so had some good pointers to share and was very interested in our ride.  We watched from our airplane window as the cargo was loaded onto the plane to St. John's and HAPPILY saw our bags and bikes make it through the airplane cargo door.  B was particularly happy to see the bagged bikes on top of the pile of bags and boxes on the trolly - they seemed to be in good hands!  The St. John's Hampton Inn sent a van-cab to pick us up with a very nice driver who appreciated B's help figuring out how to put the bagged bikes in the van.  The hotel staff were really welcoming and didn't bat an eye when we took our bikes in the bags onto the elevator. After a quick dinner at the nearby Boston Pizza - we were to sleep, knowing we had things to do in the AM before meeting with Peter and Susan.

Monday, July 28, 2014

It has been a busy week or so of getting final preparations done.

Both bikes went into the shop for a tune and safety check.

We both had our bikes fitted to us - Avid randonneur Ken Bonner pointed us toward a very qualified bike fitter Barry Lycett who checked the position of our feet relative to the pedal and hence reduce any in-turning or out-turning of our knees during pedaling and made adjustments as needed to our shoes; seat height and back/forward position was adjusted; handle bar height, distance forward/back, rotation, and brake grip position was also checked and adjusted as needed - Y had special bar ends placed to give her an alternate position to rest her hands from her only other position. Our cadence was checked during this fitting - I know mine improved by a large percentage.

Our good friend Dave cycles a fair amount (he and his group did 620-some-odd km in three days last weekend). He showed us his routine for cleaning, checking and maintaining his bikes. We broke chains, placed a speed link, cleaned and lubed the chains, removed glass and wire from the tires and brake pads, reviewed placing a tire boot and patches, cleaned the gears, checked cables and derailleurs, replaced two rims, inner tubes and tires. We also went over our tool kit and parts kit and added some items.  Some of the review came in handy because I had to replace an inner tube the next day after a ride because of a valve failure.

This weekend also marked our passing the 2000km mark of riding since December. Part of the riding on the weekend had us going back to the airport and picking up the bags for the bikes.

Tonight we went to Fairfield Bicycle Shop to have an after-hours lesson on minor repairs. Francis was kind enough to be there to go over with both of us removing the rear wheel and removing the tire and inner tube, placing it all back together, we were both able to get the tire back on unassisted without a tire iron. We also broke chains and used quick links, broke spokes and trued rims, went over adjusting brakes and cables - some of this was review from the time Dave had spent with us and some was new- either way it was good to review - interestingly though is we had to again replace the same inner tube because the captive nut fell off.