No biking to report on, since we rode in a car over Chief Joseph Pass. Not a whole lot of pictures, either.
Our ride stopped at Absaroka Bicycles (for the record, it’s pronounced ab-SOR-ka or, to some, ab-SOR-kee) in Cody so we could check in. I plugged in my near-dead phone and was able to check my email and the tracking updates on our bike rim – it had been loaded onto a truck in Cody that morning and would arrive at the bike shop before noon. The guys at the shop knew whose truck it would be on, even. (Not surprising. Cody’s population is less than 10,000 people.)
The original plan had been to pick up the parts and take everything back to camp for the mechanics to work on. However, the guys at the shop had blocked out time to build the wheel for us, one of the guys mentioned that he was a certified wheel-builder and had talked with the bike manufacturer about specs, and it seemed best to get it done sooner rather than later. We agreed to pick our bike off the gear truck when it arrived and wheel it over to the shop, which was only a couple of blocks from our campsite at the Park County complex.
Our ride dropped us off at the Park County Public Library so we could charge our phones and wait for the gear truck.
I wandered out around 11 to see if any help was needed in assembling camp that day. (No need for help – there were plenty of Boy Scouts on hand.) Soon, I spotted the gear truck. I approached the truck captains about getting our bike out when it was convenient, and they dropped what they were doing to help. (Wow! Thanks, guys!! Really appreciated!!!)
At the bike shop, Bryce the Wheel Builder and, I believe, Rick, the shop owner, consulted online guides to make sure they knew how to take apart our Rohloff wheel hub, since they’d not encountered one before. As we spoke with Rick about this, he pointed out that if we were going to get serious about long-distance touring, we would probably want to downgrade our bike to something more common. Otherwise, we’d risk getting stuck waiting for parts (case in point!) and would probably need to learn to do most of the maintenance ourselves. Rick and Bryce also walked us through lessons on modern bike wheel geometry and materials, how the weight of a bike is supported across the spokes, and the benefits of having a higher number of “holes” in the hub (for a higher number of spokes) on touring bikes (or tandems) carrying more weight than a normal bike. Bryce also got to talking about some of the other long-distance riders he has built wheels for, some of whom have sent in postcards hundreds of miles later, saying that the wheels he built were still holding true. He about gets a tear in his eye when a wheel he has built goes out into the wild, wide world.
(Note: Bryce tightened up the spokes on our front wheel again, too. As I type this, the spokes on our rear BryceBuilt wheel are still firmly in place. The spokes on the front wheel, which was built elsewhere? At all different tensions again. You can’t beat a BryceBuilt!)
In summary, I can highly recommend Absaroka Bicycles and the folks who work there. Check them out if you are in Cody!
While our wheel was being built, we followed a recommendation and headed downtown to the Irma Hotel for lunch. The food was okay, but, man, was the interior of that place interesting to eyeball. It was built in 1902 for “Buffalo Bill” Cody and still has its original cherrywood bar.
We wheeled our bike back to camp and parked in the bike parking, which was created by stringing sturdy ropes between trees or metal posts.
While everyone else that evening was raving about the fantastic views from the day’s ride over Chief Joseph Pass, we plugged our ears.
Lalala! We don’t want to hear about what we missed!
We’ve got to make it back there someday . . .
Copyright 2013 by Katie Bradshaw