Catching up

Spent last night chatting with the couple that own the hotel and associated market about Bulgaria and the US (Europeans watch the Michael Moore documentaries), and received a jar of her hand-made cherry jam this morning (which is amazing!)

I am in a town so focused on tourism, the name of the town is actually English – Sunny Beach. Feeling much better, I’m catching up on some of the mundanities of the trip. Gathering everything together to file health insurance. The health insurance won’t cover much, but then again two doctor visits including fluids and drugs for the fever was only a few hundred dollars, less than I’d pay for the same services in the US after insurance.

For the first time the front brakes don’t need any repairs. Repacking the bike, finding a post office to send postcards and ship things home acquired along the way (no carpets despite some serious efforts in Istanbul), doing laundry.

Carrying only 2+ days worth of clothing makes laundry a recurring task. The hostels and campgrounds in Western Europe sometimes have a washing machine, but most of the time I have to hand-wash everything. The clothes are all tech-enough that they usually can dry overnight, and I carry a clothesline with me.

There are, of course, other ways to wash one’s clothes:

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That was my alternative when the Fly Board place was closed on Sunday:

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I’m on the first floor facing the pool, in a room where I can easily get my bike inside, but when hanging laundry I felt a bit awkward. I was relaxing outside the room, and later one of the owners came up, and gave me clothespins to make sure my things wouldn’t fall off the line!

At about this point in the trip I remember that a) I’m not really in a hurry to get anywhere and b) I really don’t like highways (the latter tending to prompt the former). A more circuitous route to my next destination is about 150 km and headed up hill, so a likely moderate next two days.

The rain forecast for tomorrow moved up to today, and the forecast for tomorrow (and the next while) looks good! I spent over an hour talking with Deyan about routes, as he had some slightly more historical suggestions, which avoid some of the mountains (although incur others).

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2 thoughts on “Catching up”

  1. Glad to see no mention of medical this post!

    I see you have had multiple problems with the brakes – are they the new (to me) disc brakes, or the friction on the rims type? Although one picture of your bike with its spacer makes me think it is the friction on the rims type. Would the others be easier? It seem more prone to problems with mess, but less chance of mess with their center in the wheel location.

    1. They’re not disc brakes, but they’re substantially more advanced than the friction brakes you are familiar with, as they apply mechanical advantage differently. They can stop the bike regardless of rain, for example.

      It was all the same problem, i just needed to commit to fixing it. Half-assed wasn’t doing it

      Disc brakes would be one of those religious debates. Minuses for me:
      More expensive
      Rotating mass (a big deal when calculating bike weight )
      Harder (for me at least) to fix/replace
      Harder to get parts on tour

      adv to disc brakes:
      the wear isn’t on your rim
      Better stopping power in bad conditions.
      Less vulnerable to heavy mud

      My front brakes give enough power to stop a fully loaded touring bike, and flip me in a heartbeat unloaded if i just slam on the front brakes. Good enough for me.

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