Saturday, March 25, 2006

Day22: Starting the Portage reported by DancesWithSandyBottom

From 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM on Saturday (Day22) SandyBottom assembled her kayak cart, 3-speed folding bike, towing "bow sprit" and changed into biking shoes, clothes and helmet. She called at 7:00 PM ready to roll. The bike is a Dahon ( The boat cart is PaddleBoy (

Her clear biking glasses with rear-view mirror attached was hiding somewhere, but she thought she might stop at the grocery a mile down the road in St. George to purchase (if possible) some kind of small mirror that she could tape to the handlebar. Instead she found a small mirror in her cosmetics kit that she was able to use.

SandyBottom soon discovered found that the Dahon bike's 3-speed gear-shift cable housing had come loose during the trip such that the shifter would allow only high gear. Apparently, with everything tightly packed in the boat, the bike's gear-shift cable housing was pulled loose. It would not shift into middle or low gear. It did not seem to be repairable --probably needing a whole new cable. Because of this problem, Saturday evening and night SandyBottom was only able to travel 8.8 miles by mostly walking the bike(towing boat) and by doing some riding in high gear.

She stopped to sleep for the night at 11:40 pm on a side road about 3 miles past the cellphone tower on highway 94 made famous by other challengers' reports. It was very cold, she said.
At 8:00 am Sunday Morning she called in to report that she had used a piece of small rope or cord to pull additional tension into the gear-shift cable so that the hub would remain shifted into low gear.

She said she was now moving on to cover the miles and to see how the towing progresses in low gear. DrKayak and RiverJohn were somewhere ahead of her. If it works okay, she may be able to catch up with them on the road.

File photos of practice 12/10/05 illustrate the intended strategy for bike towing boat. The bow sprit is pvc pipe; the final version used web straps and velcro rather than ropes for the "up haul", "in haul" and "down haul" attachments to the seat post.

No comments: