Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 3: Glendale to Ashland (35.5 miles)

July 3rd, sunny all day

Starting from Glendale, the road becomes a bit hilly --- that's good training for me since I haven't done much back in Boston. Beautiful farms and fields continoue to appear along the way. There are few crosses with rails as I am heading toward the rail town Ashland.

Unfortunately, when I was close to Mechanicsville, about the mid-point of the day, I made a wrong turn. That resulted an extra 10 miles on ugly and busy highway. After the detour, I rewarded myself a good burger in a local grill.

I was actually impressed by Vigrinia before reaching Ashland. The intersection of highway 637 and 656 is a very typical American view --- gas stations and supermarkets sit right next to big highways. But once you pedal a bit more, you get into a quiet natural enviornment --- small and quiet roads in woods. Without doing this bike trip, I would never discover this side of the America.

In Ashland, there was a corner that I wanted to stop and check my map. Unfortunately, my shoes got stuck on the bike pedals and I fell. There was no car on the road so I didn't get hurt (too badly). I was able to took my right shoe off from the pedal but not the left one.

So here is the full story: I am using the standard clipless pedals. "Clipless" is a confusing name because it refers to the fact that no external clips are used to hold the shoes. Instead, there are cleats attached to my shoes. Each cleat locks into one pedal once I apply presure. To unlock the cleat, I need to twist my leg outward. So clipless pedals are also called "step-in" pedals.

Two screws are used to hold a cleat on a shoe so it spins with my foot. One of them went off so I had no way to spin the cleat. The following two pictures show what happened.

I ended up riding without my left cleat. That was alright for a short distance. I just stepped into the first inn that I found in Ashland and took a short break there.
Ashland is indeed a very nice town. I walked around and took a few nice pictures.
And of course, after sunset and the dinner, I pulled out my fisheye lens and took a picture of the sky.

Before I went to bed, I fixed the cleat by using a spare screw. Now I am much more careful about my clipless pedals. I check the screws every two days. By the way, my rear-view mirror always fell off. I ended up using a string to ensure that I won't lose it.

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