Good luck yesterday, bad luck today

Hello from Cadiz, Ohio!  That’s right, we’ve made it to Ohio!  We’re slowly making our way into the flatlands which changes everything about our daily rides. 

Yesterday I had some amazing luck in fixing the problem with my bike.  I had to replace the rear shifter which is one of the most expensive parts of the bike, also a very difficult part to replace.  I was convinced that this would take a few days to find the part, find someone to put it on my bike, and that it would cost a lot.  After compiling lists of bike shops around Pittsburgh along our route yesterday, I was set to explain my situation as many times as I had to and beg for donations, but I was not feeling very positive about this.  At 8 am, I called Barry, a bike mechanic who had seen our group at the church the day before and gave us his number.  Not expecting him to answer his phone so early, he did and directed us to his bike shop, which was closed that day.  He met us there (us being Jay and me, Jay needed work on his bike as well) at 8:30 and spent a long time working on our bikes.  He happened to have one shifter in the shop which was exactly what I needed and put it on my bike.  In the end, he didn’t even charge us anything!  I couldn’t believe it.  I still can’t believe the generosity I’ve seen along this trip.  It amazes me every day how much people will help out when we’re doing something for a cause.

I was back on the saddle today to face a day of hills with gravel and sharp curves at the end of them, causing 2 of our bikers to fall, and the last 11 miles of our trip biking on the shoulder of an interstate in pouring rain.  And then I got 3 flats in a row on the shoulder in the rain.  I ended up walking my bike the last mile since my group ran out of spare tubes.  I guess good luck one day doesn’t mean good luck the next.  Hopefully tomorrow will be flat-free.

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