Ok, first of all I have to give credit where credit is due. Audrey gave me the title for today’s blog post. I did not take any pictures today, but the one below. I just enjoyed the ride. Yesterday, I made the usual pit stop. As I stood there drinking my Gatorade I noticed something bad, very bad. I was looking at my tire pump, connected to my frame, and noticed the front tip was missing. In the picture, I am pointing to where, said tip, use to reside. It must have loosened over time and fell off.
Of course the reason this is bad, very bad, is I now have no way of filling my tube if I have a flat. Mind you I am in Eastern Kentucky and Southwestern Virginia in the Appalachians. No bike shops, no Wal-marts (at least that I can easily get to). I woke up this morning with a sense of dread. I knew that if I had a flat I was in bad shape. It bothered me all morning. On every bump I looked down to see if my tires still had air. I can’t go on like this, all day, it will kill me.
I began to think of alternatives. I could ask a “local” at a gas station if they have a pump at home and I would be willing to buy it from them. I could check the Dollar General, they are about in every city I have gone through. It’s a long shot but maybe? How about an auto parts store? I have not seen anyone riding a bicycle, other than TATers, since geez maybe Newton? To think an auto parts store would have one was a pipe dream, at least in my opinion. I stopped in Haysi to get breakfast. On my way out I saw a Dollar General. Shocking (sarcasm)! But, right next to it I saw an auto parts store and they were open this early in the morning. I went in and told the guys my dilemma. The one clerk took me over to a aisle and grabbed a pump. My jaw about hit the floor. What are the chances the first auto parts store, in Haysi Virginia population 186, would have a pump? I guess pretty damn good!
This was too good to be true. I asked the clerk if I could take it outside and test it. I had a spare tube and I put my presta to schrader valve adapter on and started to pump. It works! You do not know the relief I felt that the pump works. As you can see in the picture, it is 3 times as big and weighs 1-2 pounds. I would carry a boat anchor if I knew I could fill a bike tube with it. So, I am pumped!
I am staying under a church pavilion in Meadowview, VA
Day 48 – 64.2 miles
Total 3,765.7 miles