Day 16: An Early Birthday Present – Carbondale Rest Day

Carbondale is a rest day for many bicycle tourists because there are multiple bike shops, cafes, a college, and Lindy. I get offered a ride that I cannot refuse as an early birthday present.

 Lindy offers a ride in her '76 MG Midget

Lindy offers a ride in her '76 MG Midget

T finds a host on named Aur who leaves town and welcomes us to stay in his home.

Exploring his roughly 600 square foot house, the stickers and flyers suggest that Aur runs a solar company and is passionate about alternative energy sources, supporting local farmers, home cooking, National Geographic, and mindfulness.

T spent the previous night bonding with him and learned that he used Pinterest to build the most organized can holder I have ever seen. That is "can" like black beans, garbanzo beans, lima beans, string beans, and any other canned goods a home should have stocked at all times.

Dark Roast gets more improvements

“How wobbly should your front wheel be?” I ask Emily, the tour leader of Adventure Cyclist’s self-supported group. The answer: not at all.

New bike word - Hub: the center part of the bicycle wheel consisting of three parts: an axle, bearings, and a hub shell. This is Level 2 biker knowledge.

She tells me the front hub needs to be tightened.

The Phoenix Bike Shop tightens the hub and adds fenders to the front and back wheel of Dark Roast.

New bike word – Fender: Semi-circle covers over the wheel that prevent water spraying up your back from the rear tire or soaking your shoes from the front tire. The addition makes it more comfortable to ride in wet weather.

There are three bike shops in town and overall everyone had a good experience. T and Annalisa went to the one across the street; Mark, Emily, and I went to Phoenix; and Doug and Donna went to the Bike Doctor.

 Fenders are added at the Phoenix Bicycle shop

Fenders are added at the Phoenix Bicycle shop

Riding the MG Midget

Donna gets a call while we are out to dinner at a Brazilian restaurant that is only so-so (Oh yeah, Doug and Donna made it into town). She tells me there is a surprise waiting outside. I know exactly what this is going to be…

Lindy is idling her white ’76 Mg Midget waving her arm as a signal to hop in. You reach far over your right shoulder to slide the metal clip into place. The engine is humming ready to move.

The car rips out on the highway as Lindy tells me about replacing the engine twice, redoing the interior, installing the new stereo system, and other intricacies of this beauty. This is all done with her own two hands – I’m driving with a badass woman who is a mechanic just because.

I plead with her to help me ditch the bike and go on a cross country road trip, but that is what the Subaru is for. The MG only travels so far. I’ll have to make the rest of the journey with these two legs.

“That is your early birthday present,” she says as the car pulls in front of the historic Dairy Queen in town. Doug, Donna, T, and Annalisa sit there with ice cream seeing hop out like a little kid given too much caffeine.

The Blood Sugar

Note: the internet is too poor to download the graphs from Glooku. This will be updated when it becomes available.