The rest day began with the sunset the night before. Being a lover of the ocean, every moment I am on Lake Superior, I realize it is just as beautiful and invites the same reflection as being on the coast.
This little break, it turns out, is an opportunity for Leisa to reconnect with both the place and some of the people from her childhood. We make our way to the northern reaches of Madeline Island where Leisa spent some vacation time as a teenager. We find the same house where she last played in the sand and ocean circa 1973 and we find a family friend, now a high school teacher, vacationing there. The house has stayed in his family for four decades. When we first get there, no one is around so we swim in perfect temperature water for about an hour. What a great treat for my muscles. We play around this float and it feels like we are the first to discover the lake it is so remote here.
We return to our hotel to do a complete repack of my panniers and I go through every item looking to purge as Leisa will be leaving the next day and can take things back home. After checking likely temperatures for the remaining five to six weeks between here and Newfoundland, I find lots I think I can live without.
I don’t have a scale to weigh it all but probably I will now be pedaling with about a kilogram or so less per kilometer.
Stuff I am sending home with the soon to depart sag wagon:
Mirror – never got it to work
Brooks seat cover – I decided to stay with the Selle An-atomica seat (gear reviews will start after I’ve ridden 5,000 km so stay tuned)
Extra headlamp (fingers crossed the remaining one does not go kaput)
Extra front blinking light (not as good as what I have on the bike)
Extra rear blinking light (can no longer be turned off)
Helmet blinking light (not bright enough for daytime)
Arm warmers (those stripy things)
Metchosin wool socks (they were great in the Rocky Mountains)
Skin cream (I am all broken in)
Proofide (leather cream for Brooks saddle)
Two tubes that have punctures (I still carry two new ones)
Down jacket (blue – folded into its pocket – a lifesaver in British Columbia in June)
Wool long sleeve shirt (orange)
Wool short sleeve shirt (blue)
Pair of wool cycling socks (going back with holes in them)
Roll of duct tape (orange)
Roll of twine
Vancouver Olympic Pin (gift from Tony Macoun – will be safer at the College)
Extra Water bottle
Plastic bag for phone and Canada stickers (I already have one of each)
I won’t enjoy the lighter weight for a while until I eat my way through about the equivalent weight in food Leisa is leaving with me.
Next I set out to give the bicycle a good cleaning on its rest day. I am in for a surprise. Here it is.
You may not be able to see it unless you enlarge the photo but if you do you will see a crack around the spoke nipple where it enters the rim and a hairline crack on the rim itself. I would not have seen it had I not been wearing glasses, which I had put on to do an extra careful cleaning and inspection of the bike.
So what to do?
I called Rivendell Bicycle Works in California and told them what I just discovered. Their response is what makes their customers so satisfied. At least this one. Mark, who I think built my bike, put me in touch with Rich, who built my wheels. Within an hour or so, they hatched a plan to send to me, via overnight delivery, a loaner wheel.
Wow. The wheel itself is as true as when I first got it some 5,000 km or so ago but they are concerned that if and when the nipple breaks through, it would be a wobbly mess that might not be be rideable. It is a Velocity asymmetrical rim.
I will return to the wheel in the next blog.
We head up island again to have dinner with Leisa’s childhood friend and family, Ethan, Sherry, Rui-Rui and Eva.
We enjoy dinner together and we find evidence that Leisa (and her mother) was here in 1973 in the guest book. An eight day stay in fact, and maybe the time Leisa, that rebel, put the extra “e” in her name. Something hatched on this very spot nearly, ummm, forty years ago.
And the sun sets on my rest day and the float we played on when the sun was high in the sky.
Stats – for Tuesday 10 July 2012
No cycling today – rest day. Yeah the second one since this journey began.