Posted by: twistsoffeet | July 8, 2011

Little inconveniences

I woke early this morning at about 04:00. Since it was still dark I tried to continue sleeping until 06:00 but only made it until 05:40 before I had enough and started to back up my gear. I was on the road by 06:05. It was cold and damp and it looked like it would rain but I really had no choice but too ride away. Last night had been rough until I got into my tent, all due to the nasty little critter, flies gnats mosquito’s and such that were feasting on me while I spoke to Terri whose backyard I was camped in. Iowa is seeming to have a worse bug problem than any of the southern states I have ridden through on this tour.
I rode a couple of miles until my trailer hitch broke. At first I wanted to panic because this could be devastating. Instead I looked at it and began to totally disassemble the entire hitch. My hitch assembly is fairly simple with a hitch post sticking out of the side of my rear dropouts. I attach the trailer by slipping a collar over the post and securing with a hitch pin. The collar attaches to the tongue of the trailer with a hard steel coil spring with a semi hard rubber similar to a auto tire’s rubber inside this spring. All of this attaches with screws that run through a loop of the spring and the rubber support inside of the coil. This whole connection broke tearing the rubber in half and actually breaking the steel spring. After looking at it I found I could discard or put in my bag for later use part of the spring and part of the rubber. I drilled a whole in one end of the rubber and it fit perfectly with the part of the spring I retained. I was unable to re-bend the spring but found I could put the bolt through part of the spring then the rubber and angle it through another coil on the spring and it would hold temporarily. I hit the road knowing I would probably find some trash along the road I copuld repair my trailer with, and I was correct. A couple miles down the road I found a broken heavy rubber bunge strap beside the road and picked it up. I made it to Algona Iowa but knew my temp patch wouldn’t last much longer.
I made it to the city park where I will spend the night and promptly started to work on my repairs. I cut off an appropriate length of bunge strap and drilled a whole in it with a phillips screw driver and then shaved it down to the appropriate size with a pocket knife. I was able to slip this inside the spring coils and then inside the hitch end and tongue end of my trailer. This meant that I now had both ends of the spring and both ends of the rubber firmly attached to tongue and hitch. It sounds fairly simple but when on the road and not having parts or access to other equipment and tools it is somewhat more complicated than it first appears. The whole hitch is now stronger than when new.
So now I sit under a shelter at the park fighting off the flying critters that seem to love my blood. It is only 12:30 but it is getting hot and my Arthritis is screaming loudly probably due to the cold damp air that this morning began with. I was able to work through it this morning but it now seems worse and I am unwilling to ride in the hottest part of the day. I know I am still weak from being sick and am just not willing to push anything that may get me sick again and riding in the heat is just not a smart idea for me at this time. See I can learn from my experiences.
It looks like I should be in Nebraska in 3-4 days and hopefully in Wyoming in 13-18 days after that. Progress is being made but it is slow and I am OK with that.



  1. Slow and steady. Slow and steady. Cheering you on from the side lines. And isn’t there some kind of natural or organix bug repellant you could use. I can’t imagine being eaten alive by those pests. Yeah I know…you are in their territory but still…can’t be too good being bitten by them.

    • I know there are organic bug repellants but I have not had much luck with them. Besides it would destroy the macho image I am trying to portray. In all truth I haven’t need them until the last couple of days and hope I will not need them anymore soon.

  2. I am following your trail. Get er done.

    • I will keep leaving a trail cookie crumbs so the trail should be fairly easy to follow.

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