Shockingly, I found some of the last parts I needed for the ride at the swap meet today. The big score was a pair of vintage Italian Detto cycling shoes for $18 ($200 savings). The bike concourse was stunning, never seen so much mechanical beauty in one place, ever. But then more challenges.
1. Adventures with steroids: My first full day on them, chemically juxtaposed with my full dose of marijuana pills, and I was stoned. I could barely walk, much less drive, and worked hard at coherency -- I think. No way I could ride a bike. It helped my symptoms but tomorrow will be half doses only!
2. Endless wingnut saga. With ancient components, the axle slipped every time I accelerated, jamming the wheel into the rear frame. Finally after four disassemblies, cleaning, filing, and torquing to the maximum possible, it seems to be holding. Then the cotter pin crank worked loose. Had to beat it back in and crank the tightening nut to the extreme. Decades ago I swore against cottered cranks and then here I am. I will have to take the hills very easy and walk the steepest of them because if one of these items malfunctions out there, I will just have to wait for the next sag wagon and go home.
This little adventure has been so relentlessly daunting, that my goal is now to just make it to the starting line. I have no idea if me or my bicycle will make it one mile or the whole way, but I will at least pass under that starting banner and go until something breaks down. http://www.eroicacalifornia.com/