Day 48: July 20: In Delta CO

I did the usual morning things, having breakfast, doing email, etc. and was on the road at about 11 AM. I decided to stop at a store downtown, and parked in a car parking space on Main Street. As I was inside the store, I heard a crash, and looked outside to see my bike on the ground. I figured it either blew over or someone bumped it.

When I got back outside, I found an old lady in the car ahead of my bike, idling her car. Looking at my bike, I discovered that all was not well. The front wheel had been turned around 180 degrees, forcing the steering linkage under the bike. The steering linkage was bent, making it impossible to ride the bike, as the pedal would hit the steering linkage.

The old lady got out of her car as I was righting the bike and trying to figure out what to do. She was wearing a portable oxygen generator, and looked a bit flustered.

"I didn't see it, because it was so low", she said.

How someone could miss an 11 foot long, bright red bike with two bright orange flags I don't know. But I didn't say that. In fact, I didn't know what to say. Perhaps if I hadn't been parked in front of a yellow curb (which I just noticed when I came out to get the bike), I'd have been more emphatic about insurance companies, etc. But as it was, I just took down her phone number.

The lady in the store was quite helpful. She let me use her telephone and telephone line to find the manufacturer of my bike (Ryan had been sold to Longbikes of Littleton CO, which I found out after I connected to the 'net). I called Longbikes and found out that they were out of the rod end parts that I needed, having just run out of suppliers. I left it that I would call the next day, and went off on a search of my own for parts.

I went to the local machine shop, an auto parts store, and a hardware store. The hardware store let me use their vise to straighten the steering rod, but I still needed to do something about the rod end that was bent. Finally, I found another auto parts store that was able to find something I could use (I think) that they could get from Denver the next morning. And they will let me use their tools and shop to get it together. So I may be on the road tomorrow.

I went back to the RV park and got the same space, setting up just before it got dark. Dinner was a bagel with roast beef and swiss cheese (and a Guiness Draft can), because there's a big supermarket nearby, and I didn't want to cook.

I took advantage of the extra light time to do some mechanical work on my bike. I found that one of the headlights had stopped working (perhaps because of the crash), and I soldered its wires together (the RV park owner had a soldering iron). I also re-attached my seat back, as I wasn't happy with the way I did it last time.