Saturday, 22 May 2010

Cycling day 1 or my good samaritian

Page turned out to be a very expensive place. The cheapest hotel was Motel 6 with 70$ per night - no hostel or couchsurfing hosts. I had wanted to have a thorough rest there, but it was just too expensive. And I did not want to start cycling either....The weather forecast did not really help either: Hazardous wind warning for the next 2 days and of, course it would be a head wing for me. Not a good start for a cycling trip. John, my former cycling partner called me and eventually managed to cheer me up a bit. Hey, I had been cycling for 7 months with him and really enjoyed it, so why wouldn't I like it now? So eventually I repacked my gear from hiking mode into cycling mode and left Page yesterday noon.

Zion NP
The wind was bad, really bad. I was cycling at 7 km/h (normal is something around 15 km/h) and the wind was scary. There was no shelter whatsoever on the mesa and the wind gusts nearly blew me off my bike, especially when big semi-trucks were passing. I was getting worried about camping, too. With 2 hours of daylight left I became worried with another problem: There was a discomforting sound coming from my bike! First I thought it is the bottom bracket again, but when I stopped to check it out I had to realize that one of the pedals had come off! The metal cone was still standing out, but I could pull off the pedal. All the bearings had gone, too. I had no clue how to fix that and wondered whether I could risk cycling on with it. It would probably work for some more miles, but the wind AND a broken pedal was a bit much.

At this moment of distress a pick-up truck stopped beside me. A very nice lady, Cyndie asked whether I needed help. First I thought I could cycle on and told her I am ok, but she came out nevertheless. "I am here with my mother and my daughter, so don't worry, I am not a dangerous person.", she said. They were going to Kanab where I was going, too and considering the wind and the bike problem I thought it might be a good idea to accept their offer. We loaded my bike onto their pick-up truck and off we went to Kanab. The 1 hour drive was extremely interesting. I learned a lot about the Mormon religion and life. Interestingly, one of my fellow hikers on the AZT (John, the Gentleman hiker) is Mormon as well and had given me the Book of Mormon as reading material. I must say that from my personal experience Mormons are extremely friendly and helpful people.

Ancient rock art
Cyndie not only drove me and my bike to Kanab, she also spotted a bike shop in town and would not leave me before I had found a hotel. And the latter task turned out to be very difficult on a Friday night: We stopped at about 7 place and they were all full. Eventually I found a room at a very funky and cheap motel with a Sikh owner who could double as a TV entertainer if he had his teeth done first. I was very sad to see my good samaritians leave. I felt like I had made some good friends in just one hour and wish them all the best. When Cyndie left, she said: "I will see you in heaven.." I don't know whether I will go there, but I am pretty sure she will go.

Next morning my good luck continued: After a hearty breakfast in the totally messy motel office including a free nose harmonium concert by one of the other guests (as I have mentioned before: The motel and its guests are sort of colorful) I went to the bike shop and even found it open.  They had new pedals for me and within  10 minutes my bike problem was completely solved! I was very relieved.

Still I decided to stay another day in Kanab. It is going to be even windier today than yesterday and I need some rest after all this hiking. Also my funky motel is only 40$ - so if you are looking for a cheap and colorful place in Kanab: Sun 'n Sand Motel!

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