Bike Odyssey
North America 2004

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Journal for 21-May-2004 : Hood River

Slept in, and our start was delayed again by more mechanical problems. My front wheel's cone nuts seemed loose.

Rode down to the local bike shop, then waited for it to open. Guy there particularly disinterested in us. He took half an hour to not fix my front hub while chatting with his friends.

Tough headwind today. Apparently this is typical in the Columbia River gorge. It channels the onshore winds upstream and into our faces.

Nice riding on the old Highway 30. Narrow (and very close sheer dropoffs), but rather pretty.

Awful section along the I80 into hideous headwind. Turned off at Mosier top see the Mosier tunnels. This is a stretch of the old highway where a series of tunnels was constructed into the cliffs to avoid rocks falling on the roads. Today this bit is closed to motorised traffic, but has been repaved an re-opened to bicycles. In fact, a huge extra series of protective cement scafolding has been added, making this the most heavily engineered bike track I've ever seen.

This was a particularly enjoyable ride, as part of this old road give fantastic views over the wind surfers on the Columbia River, with other bits liberally decorated with drooping maples.

Got to hood river and had quite some trouble finding a bike shop with both the right cones *and* wasn't too busy to look at it.

Getting our bikes serviced properly has been something of a challenge. In Australia I once had a bike shop put on the wrong cone nuts on my front wheel. Because the cone nuts they applied didn't match the dust covers that come with my bike, and they broke my original dust covers. I had to order a whole new axle and original cone nuts from Shimano to fix that screw up.

It seems the last place to replace my cone nuts did something similar. However instead of breaking my rubber dust covers to fit the incorrect cone nuts, they removed the metal part of the dust cover built into the hub. The result? My hub has been completely ruined. I now know why it's needed servicing so often since leaving Australia: there is no no effective dust protection. With new Shimano cone nuts fitted the bearings are still visible. Needless to say I've *very* unhappy about it!

Anyway, we covered next to no distance at all today, and I have a nasty mechanical problem to get sorted out.

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