NOB HILL--The Big Bike Trip goes all the way across the U.S.A....from the Pacific to the Atlantic. But first I have to get my bicycle to the west coast. I am shipping it to a bike shop in Astoria, Oregon where it will be unpacked, assembled, and waiting for me on the 14th of July when I should be picking it up.
Actually I had been having some trouble with the wheels, three broken spokes in the last few months. So I took the bicycle, a Gary Fisher mountain bike, to Two-Wheel Drive near Central and University. Jeff rebuilt the wheels using a heavier gauge spoke. He also used stainless steel rather than the anodized spokes that came as original equipment. That done, he packed it up and was just finishing when I stopped in to pick up the box.
My wheels and tires are the best I have ever owned! I already had replaced the tires with Schwalbe Marathons (26x1.5). These tires are supposed to be virtually indestructible. Well I stood around and talked to Jeff and shop owner Charlie for a while...even managed to talk Charlie out of a tee-shirt. I'll wear it for tomorrow's post.
But the real BIG thing was that they packed up my bike for free! "Think of it as our way of supporting your trip," said Charlie. Wow.
There was a time when Two-Wheel Drive was bike touring headquarters for New Mexico. Then mountain bikes came along and sort of redefined the bicycling movement. Or maybe it was that my generation grew up and got serious jobs and no longer went on extended bike tours. At any rate, here's hoping bike touring gets popular again. And Two-Wheel Drive has the history to be right at the forefront. They know how to take care of bike tourers.
The last thing I had to do was to drive up the street a few blocks and drop off the box at the UPS Store. I did it. For roughly $111 the bike is being shipped to Bikes & Beyond in Astoria. They receive, assemble, and store bikes for $50. If you want to put it back together yourself, they will receive it and store it in their basement for ten bucks. They will even let you put it back together in their basement. It just make you smile!