Saturday, March 08, 2008

Spring Tour Day 0 - Flying to Austin and Riding to the Hostel

The VC Blog is back! I'm on vacation!

Jim and I are riding our bikes from Austin, TX to Hot Springs AR this week. Here is the plan as a Googlyspreadsheet.

We're going to do 80 mile days, minimum. I haven't ridden 200 miles this year. I haven't ridden 200 miles in the last six months, in fact. This will be an adventure.

Furthermore, to start things off on the wrong foot, while I was packing my bike up last night, I discovered a very important bolt was missing. It holds the lever the brake cable pulls to the Stumey-Archer drum brake. (My trike is British, and it has stupid obscure parts like Stumey-Archer drum brakes. I hauled the wheel to Home Depot (horror show) and Lowes to find a new bolt, but with no luck. At least I found out what size bolt I needed at Lowes. You can read the whole story on the BentriderOnline message boards. The next morning I thought I had procured the right nut just before I left, but I had already packed the bike so I couldn't be sure.

Once again, they made me take my shoes off at the airport. So once again, I refused to put them on again until I had arrived at my destination and retrieved my baggage and assembled my bike.

After I took this picture of my feet at BWI, I realized that it was not everything it could be in a picture of my feet at the airport. So I took another picture.

I think the second picture is much better.

Jim is a Sheeple. He's wearing sandals.

We got to Austin and began putting our bikes together at the airport. This is when I found out that the nut I got this morning at Home Depot was not right. They just dumped a bunch of abundantly common 1/4 20 tpi nuts in the 1/4 28 bin. Home Depot has no reason to exist. I rode to the hostel with only one brake on only one wheel.

Assembled at last. The whole time we were working on our bikes, the announcement came on every 10 minutes about how you should never leave baggage unattended. Look behind us.

The ride from the airport was a complete horror show. Here's the map. Note how there is no way to get out of the airport without going 1 mile on a divided expressway with a 70 mph speed limit and no shoulders. Zoom in all the way in "satellite view" and be apalled.

Jim and I hiked downtown to the Iron Works, and it was awesome as ever.

We walked up and down 6th street, but we were uninspired. Everything looked especially skanky tonight. It was probably the panhandling woman with the piercings and tattoos with a live chicken chained to her ankle that did it. It's good to Keep Austin Wierd, but good grief.

We retired to our bunks.


Anonymous said...

Not putting your shoes back on isn't an adolescent protest, it's disgusting, repulsive and just plain NASTY!

Drew Roth said...

I don't get it. My feet are cleaner than the floor, when I took my shoes off. Where is the downside?

Also, my feet are cute. Everyone likes my cute feet.