When things don’t go according to plan, as has often happened during this ride, I’ve learned to just roll with it, for I know there are larger forces at work here. Made it a few miles further east in the morning, but not without extreme effort, as the bike chain kept slipping, making it next to impossible to get any leverage. It soon became apparent it was about to snap again, so I called roadside assistance for another tow, this time to a bike shop back in Newport, KY that someone had casually mentioned to me yesterday. As it would take awhile for the tow truck to get to me, I decided to gingerly pedal back to the truck stop where I had started the day. Along the way, got some great footage of the to-be nuclear turned coal power plant across the river in Moscow, OH, which I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten, but that wasn’t the half of it.
Right after pulling into the truck stop parking lot, a woman and a little boy walked over to me. Saundra Buckler said her 11 year-old nephew, Brandon, who is not easily excited, was very excited to see the trike. So I showed it to him and his family. I asked Brandon, who was wearing a Star Wars t-shirt, which was his favorite. His answer: “Darth Vader.” Loved his choice of the dark archetype who was ultimately good at heart and chose redemption in the end. I could tell little Brandon was struggling with some kind of serious disease, which Saundra proceeded to tell me about. She explained the effects of Gaucher Disease and all the close calls Brandon had already had and how he was “fighting really hard” and “doesn’t to need to be breathing all that nasty stuff in the air.” Here we have an 11 year-old child, already struggling to breathe, yet just a few miles away was a coal plant belching toxic emissions into his air. There’s something deeply wrong with this picture. Saundra asked that we not make Brandon’s fight for life any harder. Who will join me in fighting for little Brandon Buckler?
Wasn’t able to get Brandon out of my mind during the ride to the bike shop, and I don’t intend to, until we’ve secured his future.
Matt Baker’s reaction to seeing the chain told me I had problems. But the bike repair meister was on the case. After removing the seat, Matt went to work on resolving a whole host of lingering issues, including but not limited to a failing derailer, a failing (very long) chain and a failing shifter cable. A few hours later, the rocket trick was shifting beautifully and ready to roll again. Thanks Matt and Jason at Reser Bicycle Outfitters for getting me back on the road so quickly.
By now it was getting late, so walked down to Dixie Chile (had never tried this one) for one last Cincinnati 4-way. Had a great conversation over dinner with Stu and Nancy, both Harley riders. Then walked the trike down the street to a nearby motel. This time, it wouldn’t fit through my door, so thanks to Linda and Margie at Travelodge for letting me store it in the laundry room! Best part of staying here was the sound of horse carriages clumping down the road outside my window on the street.
Two miles forward and 30 miles back (to where I started) today. And that’s OK.