Finally, a rest day. We haven’t had a day off the bike since our day in Niagara Falls. That’s 11 days we’ve gone without a rest day. And considering we’ve biked over 40 or even 50 miles on many of these past 11 days, I’d say we’re due for a rest. We started our day by sleeping in while Greg and Kim saw their boys off to the first day of a new school year. Obviously we’re aware that summer is coming to an end, but milestones like the first day of school make it all the more apparent. Once we did roll out of bed, Kim had yummy homemade cinnamon rolls waiting in the kitchen. Greg is the pastor at the evangelical church next door and he had appointments, but Kim had the morning free and we sat and chatted with her for a little while. She’s a doula and so we talked about her job, our trip, their boys, etc.
My plan for the day consisted of researching and maybe buying a new bike saddle. I also needed a haircut and a shave. Caroline and I sat around in the guest cottage (AKA travel trailer in the driveway) and did some work on our laptops. Caroline was catching up on blog posts while I was reading reviews of bike saddles. I was trying to decide between a leather saddle by Brooks versus their new rubber and fabric Cambium saddle. The Brooks B-17 leather saddle is the go-to saddle of many bike tourists. They wax poetic about its comfort and magical ability to cradle your butt. However, I had a B-17 saddle on my bike when I rode from Colorado to Alaska in 2007 and it hurt my butt and I didn’t fall in love with it like other bike tourists have. On the other hand, I never tried softening the leather on that saddle with various leather treatments or oils, so maybe I should have tried doing so before getting rid of it.
The Brooks Cambium saddle is more “modern” than the old-fashioned leather saddle. It’s a new combination of natural rubber and fabric material. People claim its almost as comfortable as the leather B-17, but has the added bonus of being weather proof and not requiring a break-in period like a leather saddle. I decided to give the Cambium saddle a try and I ordered one from Wallingford Bikes in New Orleans. They offer an unconditional 6 month guarantee on Brooks saddles so if I don’t like the Cambium I can return it and get a leather saddle as a last resort (but if it comes to trying leather again I’ll probably use neatsfoot oil or something similar to soften the leather). In addition to the saddle I ordered a new tire which we’ll carry as a spare. I arranged to have these items shipped to Ludington, MI which we’ll pass through in several days before we take a ferry across Lake Michigan.
After spending the morning on the internet, Caroline and I were ready for lunch. We biked to a pizza place to eat, then we split up for a change. I rode to a barber shop to get my hair trimmed as short as possible and I also got a shave while there. I really go through more shampoo when my hair gets this long (almost half an inch!) and so cutting it back to nothing is a nice change. I met Caroline back at our hosts’ house. We finished up the day by doing some laundry. I also played a little Minecraft with their youngest son and then we had a yummy spaghetti dinner with Kim and the boys (Greg had a meeting). We finished the night with more work online updating our blog and uploading photos. I hope you all appreciate the hard work we’re doing to keep you up to date on our travels. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. 🙂