Today was kind to me. 🙂 I was finally able to once again make a little progress with getting my bicycle back on the road now that the final “mad rush” of hiker shuttles is over. It wasn’t much progress, but progress just the same. First, I cleaned up my bicycle helmet. It was purchased several years ago in anticipation of getting back into cycling, then placed into storage along with my bicycle when events caused me to postpone that endeavor. As expected, after gathering years of dust it needed a very thorough cleaning. Since I didn’t know what all may have crawled on, and in, it the helmet also received several applications of disinfectant. After I was satisfied with the cleaning/disinfecting I re-installed the cushions which were taken off and cleaned separately. I had forgotten these were included with the helmet and was glad to find them attached to the straps. While the helmet fits fairly well without them it’s much more comfortable with them, and I suppose they add a tiny bit of added protection.
Next, I removed the tire that was mentioned in the “A New Lease On Life” post, cleaned the inside of the rim, made sure there were no burrs, then installed the new tire. I probably should have replaced the inner tube also, but it’s been holding air just fine so I couldn’t justify the expense right now. I know that decision will probably come back to bite me before long. I’ve always replaced the tube when a tire needed replacing on vehicles, or equipment of any type, so I guess I may be sort of jinxing myself by not doing so this time. Of course the greatest majority of today’s automotive tires, with the exception of “big truck” tires, no longer have inner tubes so that statement sort of dates me. lol Still, its something I’ve always done in the past, but I’m not living in the past so perhaps it’s time for a change. 😉
Anyway, I know what type of inner tube I want should the need arise. It’s a “new fangled” one that’s guaranteed not to get a flat if you run over a sharp object. Considering the tire I purchased has a Kevlar layer, you know, the “bullet-proof” stuff used by law enforcement agencies and the military, and is itself guaranteed against flats caused by foreign objects, there’s not really a need for a flat-proof inner tube but one can never be too careful when out for a long ride. I don’t mean a ride to the local grocery store or around the block. I’m talking about rides between cities or half-way across a state. Perhaps, and hopefully, even longer than that. At least that’s my goal, and a subject I plan to discuss in more detail before long. There are several routes half a day’s drive or less from here, by car, that seem quite appealing. The problem is choosing which one to try first. Yes, in an earlier post I admitted knowing the need to get used to cycling again after such a long absence from it before attempting any long-range cycling trips, and I still wish to do so, however it seems prudent to me to check out possible routes well in advance and make the appropriate plans and/or arrangements. No, I’m not always that particular. In fact I’m quite spontaneous and often do things on a whim. It’s just that this is something I really want to get back into. Being fully prepared the first couple of times out simply seems like the thing to do so the chances of a bad experience right off the bat are significantly reduced.
If anyone has any suggestions, based on experience, for scenic routes in the Southeastern U.S. that aren’t mountainous or extremely hilly I would appreciate hearing about them. They don’t have to be official cycling routes, nor do they have to be flat, just routes suitable for cycling without a tremendous amount of motorized traffic would be just fine. Of course being along-side a waterway or coastal area would definitely be an added pleasure.