Spending Time in Cedar Rapids IA

Having spent 10 days on the road, re-integrating back into civilization in Cedar Rapids was a bit of a challenge. Instead of literally racing sunset, I spent the first day being domestic: Shower. Breakfast indoors. Laundry with a washing machine. Try to ignore the bright red windburn on my face. Momentary panic because both of my pairs of pants are in the wash. Realize I can wear my rain pants in the house. Try to ignore the noise that even corduroy pants can’t compete with. Catch up on email. Pay bills online. Et cetera.

My Aunt came home from work at noon, and I spent most of the rest of the afternoon talking to her.

My Uncle came home from work about 4pm, and I spent an hour talking to him, too. Then we went to a bike shop downtown to try to figure out what had happened to make my rear dérailleur not stay in any gear, and why it looked like the cassette was wobbling so badly. Turns out the cassette lock-ring was loose, but that was just one more symptom. The next day I rode to a different bike shop, removed the cassette for inspection, and it appears like the problem is likely in the freehub, but I wasn’t able to remove the freehub body to find out exactly what went wrong. My friends at Hiawatha Cyclery back in Minneapolis are sending me a loaner wheel, so I’ll be able to continue touring early next week while they continue the bicycle hub forensics.

Cedar River

McCloud Run: Iowa's only Urban Trout Stream

On the way back, I took a leisurely ride along the Cedar River, finding Iowa’s only Urban Trout Stream in the process.

Meanwhile, my friend Lanny is sending me his MSR Whisperlite stove, due to arrive early next week, which should make cooking much less of a chore.

I went to work with my Uncle today for a tour of his store and to catch up on blog entries while he caught up on paperwork. I have to give a quick shout-out to Doug at RMS, Hi Doug!, thanks for the use of your desk today, hope I didn’t move too many things around.

The rest of the day was spent in quest of white gas for the MSR Whisperlite; surprisingly both Gander Mountain and Target no longer carry it. I finally obtained a quart at Walmart of all places. I think I’m going to keep the alcohol-fueled Trangia, at least for a while, until I figure out how much white gas the whisperlite uses, and where to buy white gas in small towns should the need arise.

While the whole being a “stay-at-home-nephew” thing is kind of a novelty, and I’m grateful for the hospitality my Aunt & Uncle have shown, I’m also eager to get back on the road.

To Be Continued…

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14 Responses to Spending Time in Cedar Rapids IA

  1. Tamara B. says:

    Keep up the good work, Sean! I’d give you some of my body fat if I could.

  2. Bob says:

    Glad you made it to your Aunt & Uncles before the free hub self destructed. I’ll be very interested in the post-mortem. Was it caused by the loose lockring? Was the loose lockring caused by the problem?

    And who’d have thought there were grottos in the midwest? Here’s a site for the Dickeyville Grotto:
    I’ve been to the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, IA. http://www.westbendgrotto.com/

    Kind of makes me want to search out some around the Twin Cities!

    I’ll have a bacon cheeseburger in your honor on Monday. Stay warm!

  3. Kevin says:

    Hey Seamus

    Its so much fun following your adventures.

    If the stove Lanny is sending you is the WhisperLight Internationale, it can burn white gas, kerosene and unleaded gasoline.

    Stay safe.

  4. DeAnn says:

    Hey Sean, our MSR isn’t Internationale, but you should be able to find the fuel at Holiday Stations as well. Sometimes people don’t know it as white gas but as Coleman Fuel. Just ask for that. The stove doesn’t use a ton of gas and boils water in minutes. Hope it works well for you!

    • Sean says:

      Thanks DeAnn!
      I eventually found it as “Coleman Fuel”. I’ll have to check Holiday gas stations.

  5. Sean says:

    Thanks Sarah

  6. Barry says:

    Sean – I too just found this site, but will be following now. Good luck and stay warm. I am jealous!


  7. chiggins says:

    Huck and Ruby say: Go, Michael John, Go!

    After mid-December-ish, we’moving to Santa Cruz, CA. So if’n your adventure brings you east towards DC before the holidays, we’ll happily set you up with whatever we can. If you’re here on or after Christmas, let me know anyway and I’ll hook you up with good folks to know. And of course if you come to NoCal after Christmas, we’ll have you covered there as well.

    Keep on truckin’, sir!
    chiggins recently posted..You Should Be DancingMy Profile

    • Sean says:

      Thanks Creighton!

      Your kids are so cute. Tell Huck & Ruby “Michael John” says hello & thanks!
      I’m currently planning on heading west out of New Orleans, so I may see you guys in Santa Cruz some time around March.

  8. Doug at RMS says:

    Thanks for the shout-out Sean. We are having a great time following your tour! Good luck the rest of the way.

  9. Paul F says:

    Hi Sean,

    I’m enjoying following your journey.
    I grew up in Cedar Rapids, say hi to my folks if you see them!

    If you get a chance go to the Red Frog for a bacon cheeseburger.


    • Sean says:

      Hi Paul,

      I thought of you when I passed Rockwell-Collins on the way into town last week. Thanks for the recommendation; unfortunately I won’t make the Red Frog because I’ve already out of town.

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