Friday, March 1, 2013

Hump Day

I got a bit behind on the blog this week, and it started with Wednesday. After a lovely morning ride in that was overcast but uneventfull the ride home reinforced several lessons...

As I loaded my bike up at work to head home the bike looked fine, if filthy from the morning ride in the recently rained upon trails/streets.  It took no more than two pedal strokes to realize my rear tire was nearly completely flat (should have seen it as I loaded the rear rack).  I cursed myself for not having a spare tube, patch kit, or pump to hand... then paused and looked at the bike rack next to me.  I'm not positive of the ethics of borrowing in a time of need but a nice looking racy Trek, maybe late '90's aluminum provided a pump which I used to get some air back in the tires only to find that it quickly deflated.  Returning the borrowed pump quickly I set out for the nearest Bike shop.

Lucky for me Capitol Hill Bikes on 8th St was less than a mile away, the bike protested with every revolution of the rear wheel but it made no sense to take the tire alone.  Once at the shop I was quickly sold a new tube and given the use of a floor pump, 10min later I was all set. (I was also gratified to be recognized in the shop where I had participated in two group rides in the fall... BZ to the staff at CH Bikes, I'll definitely be back!)

Almost immediately upon departure from 8th St I started to hear/feel a strange scraping associated with pedaling, I stopped once and couldn't figure it out, then continued on, stopped again, still nothing.  Finally as I was just accross from my former residence at NJ Ave SE I stopped again and recoignized with horror that at least 5 of the bolts holding my inner chainring on my crankset were backing out and banging against the seat tube as they rotated past it... YIKES!

While I was unprepared for the tire situation I did have my Park multi-hex key tool and 5 more minutes of slowly contorting myself to tighten by 1/2 and 1/4 turns (clearances were an issue below the bottom bracket) I was tightened back up.  An hour had now passed from the time I changed and packed up my bike at work and I was just leaving the neighborhood.  Depressing.  The other bummer was my confidence in the bike was shaken enough that I kept fearing that I was loosing pressure in my back tire the whole ride home. 

Turns out the tube was and continues to hold well, the ride was fine and I even met a friendly fellow commuter as I turned off the trail into Del Ray on Commonwealth.  All's well that ends well right?

Definitely lots to think about and I was happy to have managed the trip despite the issues.

15.5 Miles (177.25 Miles annual)

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