Sharon Hawley has finished her bicycle trip in Canada for this summer. She hopes to complete the adventure in another year. Please follow her winter adventure at http://sharonswinter.blogspot.com/
Sunday, June 14, 2009
The Wildlife has Changed
When it comes to maintaining a bicycle, I do the basic chain oiling and adjusting of gears and brakes. If it gets a flat tire, I can fix it, or a broken spoke or snapped cable. I have the tools and knowledge to fix likely problems. But when my rear gear shifter stopped going into all the gears and when its indicator dial stopped working yesterday, I was perplexed. I oiled it and adjusted it some, but the problem persisted. I got to Drumheller and decided to get a night’s sleep take it apart this morning. Inside, I found a plastic gear with two broken teeth. The gear served only to operate the indicator dial, and I breathed easy, thinking I could just remove the gear, get the broken teeth out of the works, and do with the dial. I can look at the sprockets to know which gear I am in. When I find a bike shop I can buy a new shifter.
But putting it back together was not easy. I always try to remember where parts go, but when I had removed the casing, parts had flown away under the tension of a released spring. Now I had to learn where they go. I worked three hours, trying various seemingly logical configurations, but all failed. I decided that some part had flown away or that the broken gear was needed for some vital function besides the indicator dial. I became discouraged and angry, had given up. The nearest bike shop was five days ride, and I could not ride without this shifter.
I decided to go to breakfast, realizing that I might have a trip-stopping problem. I might have to get a ride into Calgary and find a bike shop, or try to have a new shifter sent to Drumheller. I sat long and ate much at the buffet, returned four times for more food. Buffet providers generally lose money on touring cyclists. I thought about the problem and tried to find something I’d overlooked. And something dawned on me like an epiphany, a way of rotating one of the parts that just might work.
I went back to the motel and tried the idea. Within a half hour the shifter worked.
Yesterday I was cruising the prairie near the end of the day, endless it seemed, wheatfields as far as I could see, concerned about my shifter. Then suddenly I came to the edge of the earth and fell off. I dropped into a hole in the earth called Durmheller. It is like Nevada all at once.
I suppose that tomorrow as I go to Hanna, the prairie will return, but this place is dedicated to dinosaurs. These layered rocks are filled with their bones, great animals of eons past when this place had a climate like Florida. At the Royal Tyrrell Museum, I saw them reconstructed and glaring down at me. My own bones are a bit stiff today, turning to stone I suppose where some alien might find them in another eon.
Posted by Sharon
- ▼ June (13)