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Akron adventure

It's a rainy Tuesday afternoon, and there's a slight buzz in the shop. It's there because of what has to be one of the most daring, possibly foolhardy, things I've ever witnessed.

A single man who hasn't biked in some time is in the shop picking up his Greenspeed trike, Burley trailer, Arkel bags, tools, supplies, and water bottles in anticipation of riding it all out of the front door of the shop and straight to Akron, Ohio!

Meet Linden, a man with a mission. The mission is to take as long as necessary to bike his new purchase all the way home. This isn't the first time he has done this, either. When he was 15, he went on a bicycle trip of Europe without incident even though he had no experience. He readily admits he has the type of personality to just decide to do something, to persevere until he succeeds or fails spectacularly.

So before he heads out, he gets a crash course in trike functionality, how his panniers work, how to use a pump, how zip ties will fix anything. Rob loads him up with every bit of knowledge he can before Linden sets off on his journey.

"Aw jesus, I don't even know what the hell I'm doing here," Linden curses while trying to fit his panniers to his rack. "What am I doing wrong?" No fault of his. They were initially set up for the wrong sides. An adjustment of the mounting brackets is all that was needed.

With everything packed and mounted, it all comes down to starting the trip. But not until all the loose ends are tied up. "I better pay you for all this before I chicken out," he jokes. He also puts on his fedora, a gift from his wife, purchased for him when the first Indiana Jones movie came out - a hat he has never before worn. There's no question that today is the adventure that justifies wearing it.

Doubt sets in. "What am I doing?? How old are you, Rob?" "55" "Oh, okay, I'm 50. ... I do work out every day." "You da man," Rob responds, and he means it. There's a certain level of respect that must be afforded those who would do what we would not.

"This will be the least of your worries," Rob assures. An oddly fitting headrest is causing unrest for Linden. He then proceeds to talk about the time on safari when he found himself 15 feet from a wild elephant. That didn't panic him, but a headrest that needs wrestled? It freaks him out.

"I still have to pay for the damn thing." The moment of truth fast approaches. "I am nervous almost to the point of panic." The anxiety level is rising rapidly.

"It would make me feel better if I got a little help on this." It's time for Linden's first ride around the parking lot. His fedora is on his head, and he's ready to try his trike.

First up, lessons on gear shifting, starting with the front derailleur and how bar end shifters function. Then a lesson on the rear derailleur followed by information on shifting the gears in the hub.

Linden takes his new Greenspeed up and down the lot, running through the fresh puddles placed by the rain that was falling during the outfitting. Everything seems ready, so we begin to discuss the route.

The first stop is to be 55 miles away. As it is now after 6PM, on a rainy evening, with darkness descending quickly, we advise Linden to call it a night and start fresh in the morning. Disappointed, he agrees, but it doesn't end there. To help him on his way, I drive him to his first checkpoint, Clearfield PA, so that he doesn't fall behind on his tour.

There, we unload his trike into a hotel room, exchange well-wishes, and depart one another's company. The next day would mark the true start of his journey home.

We unfortunately have no real details of his journey as of yet. For all I know, he's still out there pedaling. I know only that he called in with a question about the hub gearing, so he's at least still alive and well.

Once we hear from him, we'll be sure to share what we can of his trip.

<< Note from Rob - Well ... we heard from our fledgling and it took him 4 days to complete his mission. Although details are sketchy, let's simply say that Linden and his trike got to know each other. They intend to continue on the path of adventure and face challenges together ... life is good. Sort of makes me want to pack up tomorrow and head on out. >>

 

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