I was hearing an occasional funny sound on my left pedal downstroke. It's seemed to come and go and appeared after my local Helen's Cycle's had done a tune up. After repeated trips to Helens they could not find the cause. They even replaced the plastic bottom bracket cup and that helped for about 5 miles and then the noise was back.
Strange sounds from my bike make me paranoid and since a two week trip to Germany was coming up, I decided to send the bike back to Bike Friday so they could check it out. After removing, lubing and re-installing the bottom bracket all seemed fine. I've done 60-70 miles so far and no strange noise. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
But after getting the bike back there was a problem with shifting into the lowest and highest gears on my rear cassette. Obviously the derailleur and gotten knocked during transportation.
Chris at Bike Friday pointed me towards a relatively new co-op bike shop in my area - -Bikerowave in Mar Vista. For a low hourly rate ($7/hr) you can use their well equipment shop and have a volunteer mechanic help you with your repairs. So I headed up there and with Eric's help (actually he did most of the work, I just turned the crank when he asked or handed him a tool when he asked).
It looked like such a cool place to hang out (even though Eric and I were probably twice the age of anybody else there ) I bought an annual membership. I gotta learn to fix these things myself.
Anyway, all is good with Friday and he is about to be packed back into the travel suitcase for Monday's departure to Germany. We'll spend a few days in Bamberg getting over the jet lag and getting the bikes ready. Then next Saturday (August 21) we'll head off down the Main River towards Achaffenburg. The plan is spend 5 days on the trail and then take the train back to Bamberg, where we'll spend a few days recuperating.
I hope to post daily updates (internet access permitting) so Watch This Space!