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STORIES FROM THE ROAD


July 11, 1999

HEADSET PROBLEMS

I had a decent night rest at the small motel in Hines, Oregon. I left the motel around 7:30 a.m. and started the walk into town to check out a church for the Sunday morning service. During my usual mile walk, I saw some activity at a Baptist Church. There was just a handful of people at the first service.

After the service, I talked to the people who had sat behind me about what I was doing. Somehow I mentioned in the conversation that I was having some problem with my steering since the headset couldn't stay tight. The handlebar seemed to want to jump out of my hands when I was either climbing or starting up.

It was really interesting when they said that they knew somebody in town who could fix bicycles and they offered to take me there. What was so neat about this was that the repairman was the only bicycle mechanic within about a hundred miles. Andrew didn't have a shop but worked out of his garage.

When he checked out the headset, he found out that the bearing races were really chipped but the bearing were okay. I'm not sure why the problem with the headset hadn't been found out at the bike shop in Sweet Home, Oregon several days ago. The only headset that would fit my bike was the one of his wife's bike. Andrew was planning to upgrade the headset anyway and this was his excuse to do so. Andrew also put in a lot of water-resistant grease since the old races had been pretty rusty also. He only charged me fifteen dollars.

It was almost 1:30 p.m. when Liz was up and running again. Since it was too late for me to get anywhere in the Oregon high desert, Andrew invited me to stay with him and his wife along with their two small kittens. Tommorrow, I will have two major climbs. The second one will have a five mile climb of at least six and a half percent.




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