After considering different options and going back and forth on if I wanted to user a trailer for the trip of just load everything up with Panniers I deiced on panniers. I always kind of leaned that way anyway as think it will give me more choices and will enable me to balance the weight out better. Also in a few cases we may be in some spots where being longer by pulling a trailer may not allow for easy turns and manipulations around some objects.
Anyway I went ahead and ordered a ‘Surly Front Nice Rack’. I wanted one that I can mount low panniers on and at the same time one that had a shelf on top to load my sleeping bag or tent. I ordered it last week at Blimp City Bike and Hike. Andy gave me a call mid week to let me know it was in. I was going to have Andy install it but decided that I would just pick it up and do it myself so that I knew how it went on and everything. I have a tendency to do things myself most of the time so I know how to do it in the future should something need tweaked or fixed. Plus I enjoy doing things like this. Anyway I decided today to install it.
It was a pretty sunny day out and I pulled the bikes out and started in on my CycloCross. This is the bike I plan to take on the trip. I am making a few adjustments to though such as getting a bit more rugged tires and a few other minor things mainly with the handle bars but it should ride will for the trip.
Anyway. I say it was a nice sunny day but I failed to mention that though it was sunny it was only in the high 30’s maybe low 40’s when I went to work on the rack. I pulled all the parts and stuff out of the packages and decided that maybe I should take a quick look at the instructions sheet to at least see how it looks when it is mounted correctly. Earlier in the week when I picked up the rack I was being wise and put the instruction sheet aside so if I needed it I would know exactly where it was. Well after an hour of looking all over the house, in the garage, my office and basement and even in my truck I finally found the instructions sheet sitting on my desk right where I left it.
Finally I was heading out to the drive to work on the bike and install the rack. The instructions looked pretty straightforward and things seemed to be going well. I got most of the mounting hardware on one side all lined up and mounted and then started on the other side and then decided that I didn’t like how the rack was riding on the fork and the proximity to the brake cable on the front wheel. So I took it all apart and started from scratch again. Finally after hitting a few snags here and there I got it installed but was missing one nut. I looked all over the driveway for the nut because I knew they were all in the package when I started because I counted them. After 10 or 15 minutes of searching and realizing that even if I found the nut my hands and fingers were so frozen stiff now I wouldn’t have been able to hardley pick it up let alone install it then anyway.
I went ahead and packed up all my tools and everything, somewhat satisfied that for the most part had my rack installed and I would pick up a new nylon lined machine nut at Lowes or someplace next time I went. But it did grind on me that I was one nut short of a truly complete job. I hate leaving things undone. Things like that have a tendency to gnaw on me till I get it fixed. Oh well, I went ahead and put the bikes back in the garage, locked everything up, put the tools away and went in. Once inside I took my coat off, and shoes and socks and went into my office to sit down for a minute. Sitting there in plain site on my desk was the one little shinny nut with nylon lining that I had spent all the time looking for! Evidently when I was looking for the instructions I must have taken it in and laid it on the desk without thinking. Not to be outdone by this stupid little piece of metal and nylon I just had to finish the job now. So I put my socks back on, my shoes, my coat, dug my tools back out, took the bike back out and installed that final little bolt and nut. I put it all back then and went into the house finally with the piece of mind that the rack was completely installed and ready to use. As I write this my hands are finally starting to get back all their feeling and starting to get warm. My Thermometer says it is 23.4 degrees out now.