Day 25: Austin, TX

We took a rest day to get some errands done. The main thing I did was to remove the Xtracycle attachment from my bike. I really enjoyed using the Xtracycle for it easy cargo-carrying ability and stable handling, but had decided that the extra weight (especially in the hilly areas) was not worth it. As I removed my rear derailleur from the Xtracycle frame, it seemed to be a little stubborn as I unscrewed it. My fears grew as it seemed to resist as I tried to screw it into the derailleur hanger on the Diamondback Transporter frame. The threads on the derailleur bolt looked a little mangled. Ray helped me as we got the brakes, cargo racks, fenders, and everything else re-attached to the bike, but we figured we better get to a shop and let another professional take a look at the rear derailleur.

Phil let us borrow his pickup truck, and gave us directions to the Bicycle Sport Shop near the downtown area. Before heading to the bike shop, we made a stop at a nearby Sherwin-Williams store. They were very busy, though, so we did not get the opportunity to chat or get a photo with them. We met the local District Manager Monty Jay, and he treated us to lunch at Houston’s Restaurant right across the street from the stores.

We got to the bike shop, and even though it was the middle of a weekday, they were pretty busy, and there were a few other people with walk-in service problems. I didn’t have to wait too long, though, until one of their mechanics took my bike back into the shop area. He was able to clean up the threads on the derailleur, and fortunately, the threads on the hanger looked okay. I had my chain with me, unattached to the bike, and he asked me if he should go ahead and put it back on, so I told him to go ahead. I bought a thorn-resistant tube to be my spare, to replace the Slime tube that I gave to Ray yesterday, and when they rang me out, they only charged me for the tube plus $5 for the chain installation. That was fantastic service and a great deal, so I recommend this shop if you are ever in need of bike stuff in the Austin area.

Since we’d be heading into hotter, drier weather as we headed further south, I figured I better start using my third water bottle cage. I looked around the shop some more, and picked out a Twin Six “Bike Nerd” bottle. Ray bought a couple more thorn-resistant tubes and new Specialized Armadillo tires to replace his WTB Slickasaurus tires; hopefully this will give him better luck in avoiding flats.

Later in the evening, we went for dinner with Alison once again, and met another friend Johnny at Thai Kitchen near the University of Texas.

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