Sunday, April 25, 2010
Within a day or two of getting home the big box we'd sent via UPS arrived. We got that up into our dining room/bike workshop without much trouble. But by the end of September we still hadn't seen our bike. I started to get a little worried.
I called up Amtrak Express, down in DC. Turns out our Bike had been there for almost two weeks — they just hadn't called. Since David was moving, we took an extra trip down in his UHaul van. The Amtrak Express people wheeled the bike over to us and checked their logs. They had, indeed, forgotten to call, so we didn't have to pay an extra storage fee.
I should probably have been upset with Amtrak Express, but I just didn't care. We didn't really have anywhere to store the bike anyway. David and I ended up carrying it up into the dining room, where I spent several weeks slowly reassembling it and carefully cleaning out as much as I could. Sand and dirt were ground into every little part.
It still wasn't rideable when I was done. The brakes weren't working correctly and it made some nasty noise when I tried to pedal. We took it to Wheelbase Bikes in Frederick, where they said they'd give it a deep cleaning.
Of course, they also found some other things. The back chain was stretched literally off the gauge. That meant the cassette was dead - this new cassette would be our third one. They also tried to replace our front tire. Back in Idaho we'd put a no flat tire on it - no air, just foamy rubber. Unfortunately for us, Wheelbase couldn't get the tire off, even after trying with motorcycle irons. The only way to get that wheel off would be to cut the tire with a knife. We opted to leave it on until the tread wore off (as it was a Walmart tire with several hundred miles on it already, it won't be long).
I spent about an hour putting pictures into the appropriate folders and Jillian spent several more hours sorting, cropping, editing, and posting to Flickr. She finished in mid April of 2010. We finished with close to 20GB of photos.
Before we'd left, I weighed in at just over 190 lbs. When we got back I'd fallen all the way to 170. The part that scared me was my weight in Denver - nearly 185lbs. Somehow I'd managed to lose 15 pounds in the month between Pickle's house and finishing. But then, finishing your day with dinner at McDonald's or worse, a vending machine, will do that to you. I'm now up to 180, which I've hovered around since senior year of high school.
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