A Monologue with the Æther

A Bicycle Odyssey

Day Forty: Tuesday 7 August 1990

Keokuk, IA to Super 8 Motel, Fort Madison, IA

I suppose I could’ve called this episode: I try to find a bike shop. Using the phone book in the motel in Keokuk, IA, I try to locate a nearby bike shop. When I arrive at the address from the yellow pages, I find that I am at a private home where the owner runs a side business doing bicycle repair. He is not home. I learn from the wife that the closest bicycle shop is in Burlington, IA, further north than I intended to ride and in the wrong direction, but I needed a shop; I don’t remember why. I do remember that I was burning through inner tubes, and subsisting on Power Bars. I was riding on under-inflated tires thanks to advice that was bad or misunderstood. I remember talking to the shop owner about the difficulty of finding bike shops.

I finish my business with The Cyclery in Burlington, IA and head west once more. I overnight at a Super 8 Motel in Fort Madison, IA. I do remember giving the bird to a car that came up behind me honking. The honking was apparently intended to be friendly; however, it is impossible for a cyclist to tell the difference between a ”hi there” and a “get-out-of-my-way” honk. Drivers it is best to give a friendly wave as you pass instead of a “friendly” honk.