Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pay it Forward - Lytton, IA


One of these days, I'm going to have to balance out my karma a touch. People have been awesome to me, and I would really like to pay it forward eventually. Around 5pm, while grinding up a hill into a headwind, I had my first flat. I brought tools I'll probably never need, but in the flurry of packing I managed to forget tire levers. The amount of futzing around it takes to get the tire off a loading bike has me fervently hoping that this doesn't happen often. Off comes the trailer, off goes the map holder, batten down the hatches, flip it over, scrape my shins and stab myself with the gears, then finally wrestle off the wheel.

I did manage, thankfully, to get the tire off using the back of a spoke wrench and a small carabiner. The next problem was getting it back on. My tires have always seated poorly, and even with a powerful air compressor, it takes a lot of mucking around to get them fitted on right. I've never had to do it on the side of the road, in blasting hot sun, while listening to pigs frantically squealing across the street. It didn't go well. As I was working on it, a couple stopped by to offer help - tire levers and an air compressor if I could make it to Lytton. I could, and squeaking and wobbling away, I did.

I ended up spending the night at Faith and Robert's house. They both have a history of all kinds of adventuring, but if I try to write it all down, I'll never get back to the campground. They fed me spaghetti, breadsticks, and sangria, washed my clothes, and let me bring my wheel into their tidy living room to work on. When the tire refused to seat, they gave me a new one! Faith was putting together a presentation of her own touring experiences, and showed me her pictures and scrapbooking. All in all, it was a great time with great people who had great stories. They're not on warmshowers, but after that experience I think I may look into it.

A comfy shelter on the intersection of nowhere and nothing. Wish Iowa had a few more of these.

Bet these guys agree.

Windmills. Miles and miles of windmills.

Skipping ahead a bit, Faith's tire boot.

Handmade cycling shorts for me!

Faith and Robert. Thank you!!

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