[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on September 4, 2004]
A few stories to share:
I've been visiting with my sister here in Ann Arbor; she drove over from Pittsburgh, and we're staying in a hotel south of town. The road the hotel is on carries a lot of traffic and has a complicated median to prevent southbound cars from reaching the hotel; you have to go about half a mile farther south, turn around in another parking lot, and approach from the northbound lanes. Arriving by bike on Thursday evening, I didn't know what the setup would be, so I crossed the median, which involved jumping a couple of curbs.
As I came down off the median to cross the northbound lanes and enter the parking lot, I heard a clinking sound behind me. I didn't dare turn and see what it was, because cars were coming, but as soon as I got off the road I stopped and looked at what the cars were all running over ... it was one of the two hose clamps that held my trailer hitch on the bike. The other clamp was still intact, so I pulled on into the hotel lot. By the time I had the bike inside the hotel room, the steel hitch, pulled down at an angle by the off-center weight of the trailer, had cut through its protective rubber layer (a piece of cut hose) and gouged a hole in the aluminum frame of the bike. Fortunately there's no structural damage, and even more fortunately I had a spare piece of hose and two spare hose clamps, so the hitch is good as new again. But if I hadn't heard the clinking sound and had spare parts on hand, it could have been worse!
Story number two... I was looking at the list of subscribers to this list and recognized an old high-school friend. I wrote him an e-mail asking what he's been up to for the last 10 years, and he was happy to supply details, but he didn't know what list I was talking about. Come to find out, he's cycled across the US himself and subscribed to this list without knowing that he knew me! I guess it is a small world after all.
Enjoy the photos! --Ben