Today’s ride was tense. My bike was quickly turning into the raft of the Medusa, and I had to get back to civilization fast ! Fortunately I did more than half the way to Kingman yesterday and got there without any other issue – or so I thought.
Still, I was watching the distance left more often than usual, counting down into 30 miles, 40 kilometers, etc, then into the 20s, 10s, until I was in Kingman. The road itself was not especially impressive : I was in a big plain surrounded by far away moutains, and was aiming the whole time for a pass between them, on an almost perfectly straight road.
I stopped a few times along the way, as the tension was being transferred on my back, and then on my bum. At one of these stops, a car stopped behind me, and a lady named Melanie engaged conversation, and offered a tshirt of her making 🙂
Getting closer to the city, the road swerved left and got into a moutain range, up then down, and that was it. Kingman looked pretty dull, and mostly empty, as it was almost noon. But I got farther, into the newer part of the city.
At this point I noticed that the bent axle was getting loose ! I don’t imagine it *could* get away while I was riding, but I don’t want to find out and lose a wheel because of a bump on a fast downhill. And when I stopped for the day, what else did I find ? The trailer wheel was flat again ! Twice in a row ! Three flat wheels in five days. And the culprit was either a very thin nail, or another bit of staple. It’s apparently useless to avoid the larger items on the road.
There are two bike shops around here, however closed on Sundays. I’m going to have everything fixed, have the anti-puncture band that goes between the wheel and the tube added and do a full check before moving further. I never thought I would have so many technical issues in the entire trip, what with a brand new bike and trailer. And I did only a quarter of the total – hey still, it’s another achievement, 1000 miles 🙂
While I was trying to sleep I got thinking into this bent axle, and I’m a bit suspicious on the link between a flat wheel and such a problem. It could have worsened it for sure, but I remember having some difficulties setting up and removing the trailer for some time. It could be due to the bumpy road before Baker, some misuse on my part, or my bike balance. It’s totally unstable, with the front fork turning left or right on its own for any reason. If left against a wall, it will crash to the floor. It did so quite a few times with the trailer attached, which could have put some pressure on the axle. I’ll check with Bob, the company that makes this trailer, what could be the reason.
I’m grateful that these are only technical matters though. Apart from minor scratches and a few sunburns, I’m in good shape. I also got a morale boost buying some Jack Vance books on the Kindle – and remembered he died a year ago today. This evening I’m gonna drown in chocolate, Lyonesse, and no GoT episode :p We won’t see the guy win or lose against the other guy. Another week to wait and then planning a stop in a motel with hbo ! Probably in Page then, end of the Arizona leg.