April 27, 2014 9:30am
I had a bad night. My chest ached no matter what I did to make it stop, heavy breathing, drinking water or massage. I finally fell to sleep late and woke to the sound of more heavy rain. When I tried to rise up, everything began to spin and I realized that old ailment had returned. I think it must have something to do with nerves in my lower back but long periods of relaxation or non-exercise seem to bring on the dizziness. So here I lie in my tent listening to the drum of raindrops while the world spins round. I’m just glad I made the decision to stay until Monday because this is a cold rain. I don’t mind being in the rain when all buttoned down and ready for it but getting caught off guard in the forest during a downpour is not fun. When this rain eases off a bit I plan to wash all the panniers and hang them out to dry. They are coated with mud and road grime.
I made the short trip over to the new kitchen tent and had some granola with milk and a strong cup of coffee. I am feeling much better now.
More hard rain has begun to fall. This is turning into another thunderstorm. If the rain would let up, I was planning to ride to McDonalds to check my emails. As usual, Mikey has some life or death website update that he needs done but doesn’t want to pay for. I have given up on jumping through hoops for him. Everything is a crisis with him and the stress levels go through the roof. He’s just going to need to find a local web developer to do his dirty work.
I hope Luc & Will are feeling better and doing OK.
When I checked my email last there was a couple of whoopie sling sales. People are still finding the website even though I have hidden the pages. I had to refund the money via PayPal because I don’t have any tools or materials to make whoopies at the moment.
I looked into the red tape involved in starting a specialized bike shop and establishing a wholesale account with parts companies. They require a physical store front with signage, liability insurance, business licenses, tax ID and a business plan. All of this would cost a pretty penny and I figure low ball to be around $100 grand with a nice shop costing close to $500 grand. If William or Luc wanted to get into this business I’m sure I could secure the funding from a banking institution. Bike shops don’t have a high profit margin but they are becoming more of a fixture in popular destination towns and have a positive effect on the community. I noticed that Florida has a real shortage of custom bicycle shops, unlike the west coast which has one on every corner. The few existing Florida shops specialize in single speed beach cruisers and don’t invest in any exotic touring or fat bikes. These types of specialized custom bicycles are where the big money is. The trick is to become the “brand” locally for adventure cycles and advertise in print as well as the Internet. You don’t have to be the cheapest but you do have to be the best. With our real life experience traveling the world, I think we have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to bike & camping equipment. The more I consider this idea, the more it just makes sense as a way to survive the economic crisis and keep from becoming just another part of the slave labor force in America. A business like this would give us time for other sports as well like boxing or scuba diving and would be conducive to a healthy lifestyle. I estimate that with three people working the shop there would be no need to hire extra labor so close to 20% could be saved on labor costs. A small beach shop in a high traffic area could probably pull in $75,000 profit a year after expenses and taxes. That would be $25,000 per person. Sure, that is only about $2,000 per month each but the work is light and there is freedom to pursue other activities. You really can’t put a price on being your own boss. These are thoughts that cross my mind while waiting out a storm.
I went to cook lunch and found an inch of water on the “waterproof” floor of my new tent. I’m beginning to see why it was on sale for $9. Oh well, I guess you get what you pay for after all. I’ll still use it for a windbreak kitchen because it rarely rains in Australia. Speaking of rain, I just got an update to the weather forecast and now it is supposed to rain through Monday as well. That will make five straight days that I’ve been at the show grounds. On the positive side, I have caught up with the budget having only spent on average $20 per day while being here. I ate a lunch of Asian corn soup and pita bread and then took a shower. I carried my panniers into the shower stall and washed them really good with hot water. They look brand new again. Looking in the mirror I noticed how thin I’ve become. Since the beginning of the trip in November 2013, I have lost 35lbs and dropped two pant sizes. I now fit comfortably into waist size 30 shorts and weigh 155 lbs., which was my weight at age 15. Who knew that going on a diet could be this much fun! Seriously, I never expected to shed more than perhaps 10lbs. I guess we carry a lot of excess fat around with us in the US. Everywhere I go people are surprised to find out that I’m American because they say all Americans are fat. After seeing Israel, Egypt, Mexico, Australia and even Canada, I would have to agree with them. Most other countries have more active populations who eat modestly unlike the people of the US who supersize every meal and get their exercise fix by watching action movies on DVD.
I’m going to have a cup of coffee and then take a nap while this storm blows over.