/ Sunday, 14 November 2010 / CanadaNewfoundland

Now this is kind of weird. For 215 days I was mobile, cycling living out of 6 bags, moving forward to a new destination, and now for the past 7 days, I’ve been stationary in one spot. In fact, I’ve actually settled, found a place to live with another person who is in the process of “Life 2.0: Music”, and even bought a few possessions along the way. Ball Chair for computing, and speaker system with subwoofer to let me listen to music properly – not to say my I-Home Capsule Speakers aren’t great because they are, they just lack a suitable dose of low frequency pulsing that I’m craving.

I can’t honestly say that I’ve done much in the past week short of venturing out for coffee, food, and random errands. I’ve found it quite different to meet people when one isn’t cycle touring, now smushed into a big city (St. John’s has 100,000 people) where each person out there is on the way from A -> B, and I’m just an ordinary spoke, with no crazy assed beard, minimal bags and gear attached to the bike, and well, I smell clean! Slowly retraining myself to get back into the swing of things, and actively seeking out volunteer opportunities to occupy my time, meet people and build up a friend circle. I’ve done this before in other cities, it is just a matter of time. For now, I’ll be patient and continue crossing off my To-Do list that has been growing for the past 7 months.

I was fully planning on recording me throwing my sleeping bag with all of its rankness and doing the grape stomp dance on it to see what sort of weird colours came out of it, however I thought otherwise, the smell was gag inducing, and I otped for the laundromat to deal with the effluent waste water disposal, rather than risk it jamming up my place of residence. Suntan Oil, Bug Spray, Sweat, Hair, Dirt, Mud, Bugs, whatever else stuck in there made it a bit crunchy towards the end, yet it still kept me warm and dry every single night. While I cursed at it in the summer, it made up for itself in the colder months outside of June and August. I still have to tackle the air mattress and will try a different technique using Baking Soda and hot water in the bathtub to remove any stains.

Other time has been spent cleaning panniers, repairing holes, cleaning the bike and repacking the bearings thanks to the guys&gals at Ordinary Spokes for teaching me how to do it properly. I went ahead and ordered new chain rings (all 3), a new cassette, and chain from a retailer and will install once they arrive, or until I’m fully satisfied that the chain and existing cassette is burnt out. It doesn’t make sense to waste any last life on it considering the entire drive train is being replaced and winter is coming. Perhaps the bike will sell before then.I noticed a crack in my rear rack, however Axiom has a lifetime warranty and is replacing it gratis which is a nice touch.

My tent, the Hilleberg Nallo GT 2, I’ve decided as much as I love it, I’m going to rid myself of it as well and move onto a different tent for the next stage of the journey. I’m going to be focusing on minimal gear, light weight, and components designed for ultra-warm weather and storing it for 1.5 years just doesn’t make sense. My loss means someone gets a nice tent for a steal of a price. I am having some warranty work done on the outer shell as well, It seems as if I prematurely wore out the zippers and they as well offer a Lifetime Warranty on their components, so this seems to be the perfect time to deal with all these issues.

One of the worst things about touring was trying to find a proper mail drop weeks ahead of when you would arrive so that you could deal with shipment of new equipment, letters, etc from friends/family/retailers. One of the stories that stands out is my waterproof gloves, traveling across the Country trailing me 4 times and 3 months late before I finally was able to wear them, on the last 15 days of the trip at that.

Finally, the other component I’ve got in for repair, is my Canon G9 Camera. I’ve evaluated a few other cameras since it took a fall off my lap in New Brunswick, and I’ve come to find that any of the other replacements didn’t come close in features, quality and just overall comfort for snapping photos. This is likely the reason why there are minimal photos for the last month of the trip – sorry ’bout that.

Since I’ve stopped, my body has been firing off all sorts of signals saying that is in PAIN, lower back especially, and left knee. I perform regular stretches throughout the day, and need to find a Yoga Studio where I can bend gracefully with others to shake this pain. However, if I go and hop on the bike and ride for 30km,  something which I have been doing every day since arriving, the pain goes away immediately. Fuck! I once had a pain in my back from using the computer mouse too much, which went away when I used the computer more often, and now it’s simply transferred to me feeling better riding my bike. But wait a minute, I do feel better in so many other ways riding my bike, so I’ll accept this one.

After a week of semi reclusiveness, I’m ready to go out into the world and live a normal life for the next few months, have fun, use the things I taught myself to be a better person in public/social/external situations, and forge some solid memories about my time in the Oldest City in North America. I’ll post more about St. John’s Newfoundland in a few more posts, I’ve got to finish the Newfoundland Statistics page, a HUGE mashup of stats vs. Graphs for the whole leg of Canada, and put the finishing touches of many posts that were half written over the course of the last 3 months. So, let us be realistic – expect a St. John’s post in 2 weeks, before the start of December. Sounds fair? I think so – let this man breathe!

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