Saturday, October 11, 2008

Thursday + Friday + Saturday

Thursday I didn't get a ride in, partly because of the pretty lousy weather we were having, and partly because there were some other demands on my time.

Recently I helped a cycling teammate track down a drivetrain noise that turned out to be his freehub - it was rusted up and needed to be lubed quite badly. He said he (gently) hosed his bike pretty frequently, which was probably the source of the water that had gotten in there.

Anyway, I decided to check my bike's freehub because I had recently given it a bath. So I spent a few hours Thursday tearing down both freehubs (mountain bike and road), lubing them up and re-assembling them.

For me, working on bikes is theraputic, it's relaxing, calming. I can almost hear the parts talking to me, telling me how they're doing, how they're feeling. Maybe I'm weird, but I find the more I work on bikes the more I can "hear" what they tell me when I'm riding them, and when I'm working on them. In some ways it's a very intimate language: no spoken words, it's all communicated in the play of the bearings, in the roughness (or lack of) of the surfaces as you re-grease them, in the action of the locknut as you run it down the threads. It gets me very tuned-in to what the bike is trying to tell me as I ride it: what noises come from what, what those noises mean for my safety, and the bike's performance. Like I said, maybe I'm weird, but I enjoy working on my bikes (and other peoples') immensely.


Friday I got out for a very pleasant LSD ride from my parent's house (I'm visiting home for fall break).
Dist: 22.4
Avg: 18.1

It was a little overcast, but still warm enough to be fun, and I didn't mind the wind much since I wasn't pushing hard. There's not much to report, except that I felt really good.

When I went out to get one of our cars inspected (a story all of its own), I grabbed some new Ultegra chainrings from Performance Bike. My current set is getting a little worn, and when I replace the chain I'm going to need to put new ones on. Since 9 speed stuff isn't getting more plentiful, I went ahead and bit the bullet. My bike is slowly turning from a "full Dura-Ace" bike into a "Frankenstein" of different level components. Yeesh.


Saturday was my traditional Paceline "B" group ride. I always look forward to this ride: it's a great group of people and the pace is perfect for me.

We got a little bit of a late start, and rolled out in chilly but comfortable temps. The ride was pretty uneventful for the first 5 miles - I was warming up a bit slower than usual (the ride leader warms up instantly and always hammers up the first "real" hill of the day). Climbing out from crossing Lake Townsend I shifted from my big chainring into my little one and was rewarded with the chain jamming up on me for about a half second before freeing itself. Since the pedals were not turning the bike dove right, fortunately there wasn't anyone there. I kinda shook my head and got back to the business of climbing, thinking nothing of it.

Somewhere in the next 7 miles or so I ended up in my big ring again, and went to downshift climbing another hill. I hit the lever, come off the gas for a half-stroke as is usual, and realize the bike hasn't shifted. Now there's a funny noise coming from the front derailer, but I can't really diagnose it because now I'm getting passed by riders and there's traffic back. So I mentally shrug, gear down in the back, and start for the front to tell Forrest (the ride leader) I have a mechanical I need to look at at the next intersection.

When we stop, I find the outboard half of the front derailer cage has been broken free and can now no longer push the chain over onto the small ring. I do a quick check to make sure it's not going to fall into the pedals or something dangerous, then remount and keep riding: there really wasn't a whole lot I could do.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful, except for one chain drop onto the cranks on a blistering nasty headwind stretch, and I rode on my big chainring the rest of the ride.

Back at the shop after the ride, I buy a new 105 derailer ($50) and head home after meeting an old (elementry school1) friend of mine. After taking off my D/A derailer I decide to have a go at fixing it with some JB Weld. The design of it allows the broken section to carry minimal load, (Sorry, no pictures), so I think I have a chance of making it work. Seeing as I'm going back to school tomorrow I will probably keep the 105 derailer just in case.

As for the ride stats:
Dist: 41.0
Avg: 19.6

For a B group, that's not too shabby.

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