Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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More bike troubles Pacific Grove, CA, Tuesday, 24 October 2006 8:00pm

We didn't make nearly the mileage we'd hoped today. We got off to a good start even though we (ok I) had to make a quick stop at the BMW motorcycle dealership across the street from our hotel. They're selling the Ural, a Russian motorcycle with sidecar built from WWII-era plans. I didn't think they were available in the US yet, but the dealership had two on the sales floor. One looked like a vintage model. The other was a camouflage one with the machine gun mount point on the sidecar.

Leaving Watsonville was relaxing, if slightly dull riding. Long stretches of agricultural land with only an occasional truck passing by. There were a few egrets hanging around the drainage ditches near the fields. The bike route met up with Highway 1 after about 10mi and there we hit a snag.

Jessica's tire, already perforated by the glass yesterday took a shard through the gouge that the bigger piece had torn. Worse, her second spare turned out to be the spare for her trailer (which we left back in SF). Luckily, her patch held and we fortified the tire with even more duct tape. We'd done this to the inside of the tire yesterday, but we realized that doing it on the outside as well might prevent glass from getting into the gap in the first place.

We found a bike shop in Marina that had a tube for a vaguely similar tire and the shop owner called around to find a shop that might have a replacement tire. There was one in Pacific Grove, so we set out down the Monterey bike path.

It's amazing how long that bike path is. It stretches past Marina, Sand City, Seaside, Monterey and Pacific Grove. I like the riding. Not totally flat, but never really steep. Good visibility, so I could get the bike over 20mph for long stretches. Apart from crowds of joggers near the Naval Postgraduate School and tourists near the wharves in Monterey, there wasn't too much traffic.

Just at the point where we turned off the bike path onto Grand Ave in Pacific Grove, my rear derailleur seized up. I was stuck in my highest gear, facing a pretty steep hill up to the bike shop, so I had to walk it.

The bike shop, Winning Wheels, turned out to be the local Bianchi dealer, so while Jessica was wrangling with her new tire and a couple new tubes, they had a look at my shifting. It seems that the hanger where the derailleur attaches was bent, so the mechanic bent it back into place with a tool that looked like a cross between a torque wrench and a caliper.

At this point (5pm), it was clear that we weren't going to make it to Big Sur before sundown, so we checked in to a motel in Monterey and had dinner at the Bulldog British Pub. Kind of a lazy choice, since it's the only restaurant I've been to in Monterey and this was my third time there, but the food was good and the lack of hassle was a big plus.

36.64mi in 3:32 (avg 10.37mph)