Day 5 - Manton and Red Bluff

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April 19, 2002 (0 relaxing miles)

So Ryan's mom Mary and his stepdad Lloyd currently live in Novato in Marin County. That's where Ryan grew up. But it's way expensive there and Mary and Lloyd are sick of it anyway. Lloyd has always loved the Manton area, which is just below Mount Lassen, partly because his friends the Barrons live up there. So they bought land there and have cleverly turned a huge warehouse on the property into a really nice home where they will move as soon as their youngest daughter Sarah is out of high school. They've been trying to get Ryan to visit for a long time and so when we decided to take a bike trip, Manton seemed like an excellent destination. Family, comfortable beds, laundry and a shower. Doesn't that sound good?

Day 5 was our first full day in Manton and was basically devoted to resting and maintaining our equipment. Ryan's almost whole clan was coming up for the weekend, but this was still only Friday and they wouldn't arrive till the evening.

We had some delicious breakfast and then Mary and Lloyd drove us to Redding, which everyone in the Manton/Shingletown area refers to as "The Hub of Northern California." I enjoyed our trip to Redding very much. Redding is mostly chain stores, but that looks kind of good when you've been talking to cows for a few days. Ryan complained about having to ride in the car. I was asleep both ways so the car made no difference to me.

What we needed so desperately in Redding was chain lube. I hadn't even thought of bringing some from home, I don't know why. It's totally ridiculous to take a 700 mile trip and not need chain lube. The whole arduous ride up to Manton was even harder because my chain was totally squeaking. I can't tell you how irritating it is for my beautiful trusty bike to be suddenly turned into a jalopy of a bike because it's all squeaky. Also, Ryan really wanted to get photographic-specific lens cleaning equipment [uh, a simple blower blush, like one Amy borrowed and then lost!] to clean his fancy camera. I was like, "Use your shirt." But that was not acceptable.

First we went to Walmart, which was very interesting but they did not have chain lube. They did have a lot of bike stuff, but it was mostly for kids, and I know from my own childhood that most people supervising bike riding kids use WD-40 for chain lube.

The people at Walmart sent us first to Big 5 (no bike stuff whatsoever) and then to a real bike store. The guy there was a big bike geek and we talked chain lube and local riding for a while. Ryan was kind of agitated though, so we left in search of his camera needs. I hadn't realized how important this anal little item was to him. As soon as we found it at a Long's Drugs, he was instantly more relaxed.

When we got back from Manton a lot of the day was spent doing laundry and adjusting and lubing our bikes. Ryan also went through his panniers and left a lot of the superfluous stuff he brought with his mom. I helped him with this task as I had been keeping a list of things I thought he shouldn't have brought. He appreciated this very much.