Navasota to Shepherd 81 miles

Day of discovery and recovery!

Today, I was still hearing the strange sound but I had talked to our “mechanic/group leader/support, Eddie. He said we would check it out at the first rest stop, which was at mile 20 in Richards. First he checked the chain then the front derailleur and ruled out any problems there. Then he went to the back wheel. He check the cassette and still nothing. Then he narrowed it down to the bearings. He had me hold the axle and he spun the tire. I could feel what he found. The bearings were rough and from my past experience working in a garage in high school I could understand.

The next stop that would have a bike shop, that could repair the wheel would be Baton Rouge La. I was worried that I might have a problem if I waited that long. So as I was riding from rest stop 1 to rest stop 2 in New Waverly, my mind was at work trying to come up with a better solution. My solution was to call my bike mechanic at Urban Bicycle Gallery in Houston to see if he had a replacement wheel. While on the phone he checked his inventory and he had one that would work.

I asked him to get it ready and put on a tire and tube so all we would have to do is move the cassette from the old wheel.

The last step, Kye to the rescue. Kye would have to go to the bike shop at 2:00 p.m. and drive to Shepherd where we would be spending the night.

All this was put in place. but mother nature and the roads still had a couple of challenges for me today. First, after rest stop 3 a light rain started, followed by a hard rain for many miles, then to top it off a flat on the my back tire. It was still raining when I started to fix the flat but before I got too far into the repair mother nature took sympathy on me and she stopped the rain.

I found the leak, and I found the steel sliver that caused it. I removed the sliver and put on a new tube but what I didn’t know was there were two slivers not just one the one, so now I had another leak. Now I didn’t have another tube so I was faced with another decision. Patch the tube or pump it up and make a run for it. I was only 2.5 miles out of Shepherd so pump it up  I did and then I rode as fast as I could.

I made it to Shepherd but not until I had stopped 4 times to put in more air.

I went to the only hotel in Shepherd, checked in and called Kye. Her timing is great because she was just pulling into Shepherd. So off we went to the team campsite where Eddie performed his magic. What a day, but just another part of theday in the life of a tour bike rider.

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