Yep. It looks like I’m doing this again – with extra travel this time around I think. More details later, for now just know that there are only about 250 days till RAGBRAI starts – Yeah Iowa!
I’m on a short trip to Hilo to visit dad. I ended up spending some time noodling with one of my ukulele’s and…well…it’s not great, but I had to try my new MacBooks camera. 🙂
I’ve been busy lately and feeling like I needed to get out from under everything so when a friend of mine let me know they would be camping this weekend I jumped at the chance.
I realize it’s been quite a long time since I’ve posted and, in all honesty, continuing to write about my summer trip doesn’t seem all that promising. The trip was great, now I’m thinking of the next one.
Which brings me to the topic of those darn bikes…especially this one at the moment:
I pulled out my Fujiyama the other day in hopes of resurrecting it a bit. A Fujiyama is really an obscure sort of bike, being the brand name employed by McCully Bicycle & Sporting Goods for their own branded bikes quite some time ago. Mine doesn’t look anything like it did way back when, not even the same color, but it’s still on the road.
Which brings us to the problem…
I’d laced up a wheel around the Sturmey-Archer Duomatic hub, a two speed “kick back” hub, a while back. Then it stopped working. You could ride it, but you could no longer change gears. It might not have been so bad had it been stuck in high, but it was in low and, well that was pretty slow – great for hills or hauling, but not so great for riding around town.
I did a bit of research and came up with a contact for Sturmey-Archer, now owned by Sunrace, in the US. I received a very friendly email suggesting that the fix was easy and all I had to do was open up the hub and tighten a washer.
Simple it might be, but not have the appropriate tools (mostly a spanner), I was out of luck. Then I met a new friend who volunteers up at Cycle Manoa. This is a place the builds up bikes for a once a semester sale to UH students who need healthy, inexpensive, transportation. A great thing really.
More to the point, they have an open shop evening where, with luck, I’d be able to find the right tools. Well…yes and no.
I was up there last night and had no trouble getting things ready to crack open my hub but…no such luck. It just wouldn’t open up as shown here…
No matter what we did, and ultimately three of us had a go at it, the internals would not spin free from the body.
I haven’t given up hope yet, and I did manage to meet some great new folks and discover a great community resource, but I’m a bit disappointed that it just wouldn’t open up.
I’ll find a way yet…a way that doesn’t involve building a new wheel I hope, but hey, it is what it is.
That’s my report for now and, as always, I hope to get back on track with this blog.
And so it was time to leave Atlanta. I had a great time here and really would love to come back some day, perhaps when the Beltline is complete and I’ve more time to explore.
My train wasn’t leaving till the evening so I had time during the day for one last ride through the park, a bit of shopping downtown, one last lunch at the student food services (and, I’m sorry to say I did grab a couple of hard boiled eggs for the road figuring I’d have eaten in the cafeteria as well).
I took a cab to the Atlanta Amtrak station, not quite knowing what to expect. I’d been to both Pennsylvania Station in New York and Union Station in DC before (and would be again soon) so I thought I knew what to expect. Nuh-uh. Atlanta’s Amtrak station is a bit more like what you’d expect in Mayberry.
I had to spend about an hour waiting for my train while the room slowly filled to capacity. It seems a lot of folks use the train down here as the place was packed by boarding time.
And here’s where my journey took an unexpected turn for the better. A friend of mine and her son were traveling on the same train to DC. They’d be continuing on from DC and I would be staying for a bit, but it was great to have company. Admittedly most of the ride would be overnight and we’d be sleeping, or at least trying to do so, but I was glad to have her and her son, a very nice young man, along.
Even better, she’s had a lot more ‘train time’ than I’ve managed. Because of this she was able to act as my ‘train mentor,’ letting me know what was what. Off through the night we went.
The trip lasted from about 8 PM till 10 AM the next morning. The train made stops along the way, mostly short. I did end up with a new seatmate several hours into the trip and I lost a bit of comfort, she seemed to have a lot of stuff, but it was fine. She left a couple hours before we got to DC so at the end I had some extra room and managed a couple of hours sleep.
Good thing too. It’s pretty natural that when you get to a hotel in the morning you aren’t going to be able to check in; it’s an afternoon thing. So yes, I had to wait, but these guys were great and let me build my bike in the lobby – so I was off. The hotel, btw, is The Americana and it’s more of a motel amidst its larger and newer brethren, but it’s a small and inexpensive lodging in Arlington. It’s just fine. The staff is great, very friendly, very helpful, competent, and fun to talk to when you’ve got a minute. Who chats with hotel staff these days? At this place it seems natural. Good folks.
So instead of checking right in, I took off on my bike and explored the area in several directions. I almost felt I knew my way around after a few miles. Apparently I rode so much I ended up at the Library of Congress…
When I got back to the hotel I was able to check in. I took a shower and headed out because I had a busy day and evening ahead of me. It was almost time for my second MLB game on this trip; The Washington Nationals.
More on that in my next post…