10.54 Miles; 495 Feet of Gain; Big Bear, CA
Today was a welcome zero day, just a few days into the trip, but at a crucial point we had previously planned for; we wanted recovery with unseasoned legs and a previous-day's big climb. Janna and I absolutely slept-in late. After waking up, we walked down the street from the cabin in the day's already garnering warmth to get some breakfast at a local restaurant. While there, we saw two PCT-hikers who I chatted with about their experiences and plans moving forward. Afterwards, we stopped by a local pie restaurant for the best chocolate cream pie I have ever eaten.
From there, we walked to the post office in Big Bear. We had a bounce box that had arrived several days prior that we needed to grab a few repair items from before sending it on to our next location. Once back at the cabin, I set about looking for bike shops in the area. My caliper hadn't responded well to the many of the descents yesterday and the brake pads were annoyingly rubbing on the rotor no matter what steps I took to ameliorate the situation. My intentions were also to hopefully find a more robust caliper. I called Bear Valley Bikes and they said to come on over. We road the some 8 miles out to the bike shop down backstreets that took us along ritzy neighborhoods with insane multi-million dollar homes/cabins. They took both our bikes in immediately, as they wanted to take a look a look at Janna's bike just for kicks.
They worked on my caliper for a bit while Janna and I wandered around the shop or sat outside. The mechanic came out and told me my caliper had warped from the heat of my bike load and the descents, meaning it was curved into rubbing on my rotor. And unfortunately, with COVID and the supply chain issues, they had absolutely nothing to replace it with. But, they told they would work on in as best as possible to get it to be as smooth as possible; the next time I found a bike, they encouraged me to immediately get that thing replaced with something better suited to handle our loads. I eyed Janna's Paul Klampers with a sense of envy an they were performing beautifully and had no issues as mechanicals. Bear Valley Bikes did an awesome time wrenching and working on that warped plastic caliper to get the brake pads into a defensible, practical use. I really, truly appreciated their work.
And with that, we pushed back off to head back to the cabin. Ultimately, we didn't want to be out too much today as today was a rest day. We ended up riding along and through multiple cabin-filled woodland areas before spilling out next to Bear Lake and making our way to a Vons. While Janna went inside, I called my parents and filled them in on our trip. Then, it was my turn and I headed inside to buy groceries for the rest of the day and tomorrow. Groceries packed, we headed back to the cabin. The evening was spent watching some episodes of Season 1 of Loki (just released), Season 1 of Sweet Tooth (just released), and Raya and the Last Dragon. The legs stayed up and rested as a good night's sleep whisked us to tomorrow.