Day 73 - Day 74 Chaffey's Lock to Cameron's Point

Day 73 Chaffey's Lock to Brockville 

After breakfast, Catherine and I slowly packed up my bike, trying to put off saying goodbye. Hayley took a picture of us, we hugged a long hug and then I biked off down the hill. I looked back a few times and they faded into the distance. I was headed south to Brockville, then east to as far as my legs would take me. 

I realized right away that biking with front packs was going to be a lot different. The front weight pulled the handle bars to either side. At the bottom of the first hill I gave them a shake to test out their range of motion. It seemed fairly straightforward, just something to get used to, nothing to worry about. I climbed up the second hill with no problems. The downhill looked long and there was a cool breeze at my back, things were looking up. I pedaled over the crest of the hill and felt the pressure in my knees ease up. I gave a few more forceful pushes down then sat up and coasted while enjoying the scenery. 

Ssssscccrrrruuuuuggggg....uuggug...uuggug...uuggug...uuggug.. and so on with every revolution of my tire. It was my front axel. I hit the brakes and it started to wobble. I watched my front tire shake back and forth as I slowed down and stopped. Exhale. 

The second hill? Really? I assessed the situation, still straddling my bike. The front axel was pretty loose. We had to take the front tire off when we transported the bike to where we ate breakfast but the outside nut, attaching the axel to the bike, was tight.  This was an issue of the axel not being securely attached to the wheel. 

A quick google showed that the problem was either a spider bite or a loose hub. It wasn't something I could fix on the side of the road and would need a bike shop to make sure there wasn't any internal damage. The closest bike shops were both 50km away, one behind me and one on the road ahead. I made the call of shame to Catherine and asked them to come back. They got there shortly after and both seemed happy that they had a reason to stick around and help out. We packed up the bike and headed to the bike shop, up the road in Brockville, On. The service desk at the Sport Chek there said it was an easy fix and that they'd have it done by 10am the next morning. Hayley and Catherine decided to stay another night to make sure I was fed and my bike was okay. 

Day 74 Brockville to Cameron's Point, On. 

The bike was all good and ready to go by 10:30. The nice people at the Brockville Sport Check let me change in there employees change room and by 11:00 am I was ready to hit the road again. We already had an emotional goodbye so this one was a bit easier. 

I stayed in my head most of the day, running through all the things I'd need to keep track of now that I was going solo. It gave me something to think about and distracted me from missing Catherine. I biked 3 hours straight stopping only to look at the map. I felt too emotional to stop, I just wanted to get where I was going so I could figure out how I'd manage on my own. I went 76 km and decided a break was needed and going further would just be silly. I still felt good, just needed some calories and to catch my breath. 

The afternoon was an easy ride and I made it to Cameron's Point Family Campground by 6:30pm. The office was closed but I tracked down the maintenance guy. He told me that he couldn't take payments and the owners wouldn't be back until 9:00am. "If you're on out of here by then, Happy Birthday", he said as he nodded with a smile.  I laughed and thanked him.

I was set up and ready for bed by 9:00pm just as the sun was going down. Even got a call to Catherine in. It was a good day by the end of it and I felt good about the next couple days as well. 

More to come soon,


Bob EssexComment