Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Unhappy Day

I'm unhappy today.

It's only 7:30 AM. I guess things could turn around, but they're not going too well so far.

First, I did some pooping last night, and some more pooping this morning. Erin and I went out and had our first supper of western food since arriving here. We've been eating nothing but Thai and a little Indian, even for breakfast, and we've been loving it. Last night, though, we heard pizza's siren call, and my digestive system crashed upon the treacherous rocks. It seems that my guts liked the banquet of cheese so much, they decided to expel everything else in its favour.

Second, we received some news about the scheduling of some work we have to do, and it looks like there's no way we'll be able to fit in the entire cycling tour we wanted to do. Somehow, I knew it wasn't going to happen. We needed two whole weeks to do it comfortably, and though it was my biggest priority for the trip, the rest of the universe doesn't seem to give a shit about my priorities. We're going to have to depart a couple of days later than we'd originally hoped to, so we're probably going to have to scale the tour down to an out-and-back to Mae Hong Son, leaving out the lower 2/3 of the loop:

View Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son in a larger map

I was having such a good day yesterday.

The day before yesterday I bought Snakeslayer some new shoes. Snakeslayer's old tires had just gotten too worn out, and I had started to get flats all the time. I had slow leaks in both tires. The holes were too small to find, and I was reluctant to stick brand-new tubes into the tires because I couldn't find what had punctured the last tubes, so I couldn't be sure that the new tubes wouldn't get punctured in the same way. The result of this unhappy situation was that every time I wanted to get on my bike, I had to pump up both tires from nearly flat with the wonderful emergency pump I bought a couple of weeks ago.

So two days ago, I finally broke down and bought two new tubes and two new tires. I got some Panaracer Duro PTs, which I think are not exactly the kind of tire I want for the kind of riding we're doing, but my choice at our local bike shop was that, or something really cheap and crappy. Anyway, the tires promise miraculous puncture protection, so we'll see how we go.

Bpong, the guesthouse's cleaning woman, saw me changing my tires and (in a mixture of Thai and pantomime) told me that my old tires were no good, because they had no tread on them and that would make me wipe out. I didn't have the heart to tell her that the racing tires I'd bought as replacements had even less tread on them, and I didn't have the language skills to tell her that on smooth pavement, the less tread the better for not wiping out.

And yesterday when I went downstairs to get on my bike, both tires were still full of air! It turns out that money can buy happiness. I rode up our local training mountain, Doi Suthep, and at the top I met a cyclist who is an English ex-pat and local resident. He told me that there are several road bike shops in town, most of which have a better selection than the one I've been going to under the assumption that it was the only one around. I could probably have found tires that are much better suited to the lightweight touring Erin and I are doing, but I'm not running out and buying another set of new tires. The Panaracer Duro PTs will have to do the job.

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