Yesterday when I packed up and took off, I headed over to a bike shop to get my wheel straightened before leaving town. But the mechanic made a point, and he hasn't been the first to make this point, that the wheel is damaged. The reason I'm having spokes break is because the wheel is no longer perfectly round, it has uneven pressure on each spoke. While he was straightening the wheel, another spoke broke on him! So it was time to get a new wheel I think. My front wheel was hand built before my trip, but my back wheel was factory built stock from my bike. It wasn't a very good wheel to be honest... The mechanic at Cumberland Transit was nice enough to call another local bike shop that has better wheel stock, and they had a hand built wheel in stock that should be just what I need! The spoke guages are a bit thinner than my last wheel, but the rim itself is wider than my last wheel!
The bike shop also had a community work bench in their back yard with a full set of tools and a bike lift to hold it off the ground! I had to install the wheel myself, so moving the gear cassette from my old wheel to my new one took a little bit since I'm slow, and by the time I had the new wheel put together and on my bike, it was too late in the day to get anywhere productive. So I stayed at the shop longer and used their tools to tune up my bike for a few hours! I adjusted the breaks and derailleurs, de-greased and re-greased my chain, and wiped down a lot of the grime in all the moving parts I had easier access too.
I called up the hostel back downtown and booked one more night since I was one the wrong side of town anyways and it was practically on the way. I took a pic while riding down Broadway
I got back here at the hostel around 6pm, and I shared a room with another bicycle tourist last night who was on his own tour from Virginia Beach to Seattle!
It's the morning now and I'm getting ready to leave soon, just sipping some morning coffee and giving my phone a supplementary charge while I have access to an outlet.
Also, heres a slightly better picture of the hostel's common area where I'm hanging out