Archive for February, 2010

Broken spoke

Right, then…

OK, so help me out here:  Are bikes more fragile than they used to be?  I mean, in the 70’s and 80’s we used to do unspeakable shit to bikes and they kept on rolling.  Ramps, curbs, general destructive abuse – nothing phased these things.  I’ve had the Dawes now since end December and have had two problems:  1)  I stuffed the rear derailleur into the spokes and now 2) a bent rear wheel with a broken spoke.

Now, the derailleur thing, I understand, was operator error.  I guess the old bikes had pie plates on them that prevented this very occurrence and as one matured as a rider, they were able to move away from having such things and just sort of knew what they could and could not do.  I also learned that you cannot have the chain on both small cogs or both big cogs because it creates lateral stress on the chain.

Did anyone know this?  If so, when did they learn?

As for the rear wheel bending, I’m sure what the shit was going on.  I mean, did I ride over some rough surfaces?  Yeah – but I also stood in the pedals to prevent the back wheel from taking the brunt.  Was that not enough?  Am I simply too heavy for the wheel?

Admittedly, I haven’t been a “cycling enthusiast” so maybe it’s not so surprising that there’s a body of information that I have yet to learn.  I can only wonder what else is lurking around the next corner.

This also brings to light my general lack of bicycle repair and maintenance knowledge.  A couple of weeks ago, the front tire on the mountain bike went flat.  Thinking that I could handle it, I changed the tube, but as I was airing it up, I heard air escaping.  Giving up, I took it to the LBS around the corner – they informed me that the cover for the spokes had slipped off and punctured the tube.  It all seemed good when I put the tube in.

When I grew up, maintenance meant putting air in the tires then giving all the rotating equipment a good soaking with WD-40.  That was it.  Now Tahn tells me that WD-40 is hygroscopic and actually attracts moisture, thus hurting the cause.

Well, shit.  This may be a bit harder than I expected…

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So far, it’s been a good day

Right, then…

I’ve had a rather Eastern morning.  I started with irrigating my nose with a variation of a Neti pot.  For the uninitiated, a Neti pot puts water up your nose, so you can rinse it out.  Apparently, they’ve been doing this in India for months, if not years.  So, remember how when you were little, and you’d plug your nose before your jumped into the pool, in order to  keep water from going up it?  Well, this is just like that, but in reverse.

Honestly, it’s an odd feeling.  Nothing disgusting [fortunately] has come out.  I think I feel better, but I’m not sure.  I’d imagine that if I used this thing earlier last week, my cold might have cleared up sooner.

Interesting side-effect:  The delayed drip.  So, you spray the salt water up your nose, most of it comes out the other side (which, btw, I did not know both sides were connected) and there’s obviously some residue that you need to clear out.  So, I do that this morning, then I go to Yoga (the second part of my Eastern morning) and as I’m going through a series of down-ward facing motions, I guess some hidden cavity in my head opens up and starts dumping water and whatnot.  Not a little bit, either.  It was rather hard to concentrate on my breathing and poses and not keep sniffing like some coke head.  Fortunately, that stopped, though.

Yoga was good.  The last time I took a class was in late 2008 and it was Bikram Yoga, where the heat the room to 105F.  Nothing like a good, hard sweat for 90 minutes.  Today’s class was much cooler, but I still worked up a sweat.  I still don’t know how as I was effectively stretching (or so it seemed – there could be some difficult things going on inside that I missed).

After that, we stayed to climb (parenthetical aside- the Yoga class was done at Planet Granite, so the transition to climbing was somewhat easy).  This was the first time I climbed in probably 10 to 12 years.  I tried once at the old PG location and didn’t much like it then.  I’m liking it more now – must be a reflection of changed mental something.  I don’t know if it was the Yoga or the climbing or both, but I can sure feel my arms and legs, now.

After about an hour and a half of that, we hit brunch.  My, but that was a tasty club sandwich!

Now, home and showered, I’m enjoying another beer.


Small exerpt from an e mail…

“Eccentric” is a label that let’s people feel good about disagreeing, without feeling like they’re wrong. There’s no “wrong” in any of this—and no need for labels. Things are what they are, and they’re different for everybody. In “our” defense…I can say there’s nobody who reaches this stepping stone who ever steps back. It’s going to be crowded in a decade, and the more the merrier!

–Grant Peterson, Rivendell Bicycle Works–

This was an e mail response to my statement that while some say he’s eccentric, his writings make good sense to me, and that maybe I’m eccentric, as well.

Pics of the bike

Right, then…

Some pictures of the “new” bike…the glitter finish stands out due to the flash…it’s not as noticeable, actually.

Well, Hell…

Right, then…

Let’s get to the point: I just learned that my sweet 2 day/week gig is about to end. Now, when I envisioned this ending, I figured it would mean that my client would hire me full-time and I would then get to continue doing work I like to do with people I like to do it with.

Not so.

Now, I do not know exactly when the end will come. I figure I have about one month left, which should keep paychecks rolling until end-April or so (there’s a 30 day invoicing lag).

Fortunately, I’m in an OK spot as I have some money saved and I made the recently smart move of cutting my rent in 1/2.

Oh, did I forget to mention that both my roommates work for the same company? Yeah…cool, huh?

So, anyway, it looks like the ride is over. I mean, in addition to savings, I have some projects lined up for the next couple of months, but after that….?

What pisses me off is not that this happened but more the reason why. If this were due to a bad product, or a failing economy, or a bad business decision, then it would be different – I’m a Business major, and these things happen. No, this is happening because some douchebag in some government agency is making an issue over what has been proved to be a non-issue. This, in turn, is causing a delay in a product release, which, in turn, was supposed to provide my customer with funds to operate. Now, in order to survive – deep cuts.

Well, hell.

In other news, my health is improving. I’m about 90 to 95% all better with some lingering cough/throat stuff. Hoping to at least get on the bike this weekend. Planning on doing some yoga and climbing tomorrow (I really should use that climbing gym membership I paid for).

Hell – maybe it’s time I buy some big ‘ol panniers, load up the bike and head out…

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Stupid, bollocks cold

Goddammit, shit…

I have another cold. I had one a few weeks ago and that was supposed to be The One For The Year. Now, it’s back. Knocked off 3 hours early, yesterday and rode home. In fairness, a friend offered me a ride, but I wanted to get the bike home. Maybe, I’ll be able to make up the hours tomorrow and save part of a day off.

I hate this. I can’t ride and I can’t run. Right now, I’m treating my throat with Hot Toddy’s which, frankly, is helping. OK, maybe I don’t feel better, but I just don’t care.

In the meantime, I took a few minutes and applied Mink Oil to the Brooks Saddle and leather handlebar tape, in an attempt to preserve them. So far, looking good.

Anyway, enough of this…

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Awesome weather!

Right, then!

After weeks of drab, gray rain, with only spots of sun, we’ve had some truly good weather – 69F with a slight breeze. The only pisser is that this is merely a pump fake, as shitty weather will be returning, soon. But until then, I’m in shorts.

It’s been a good week. Finally finally finally, I got the Dawes back, complete with new rear rack and bar tape. Let me tell you folks: It’s looking good. On Saturday, I took it from Willow Glen up to Lexington Reservoir and back – about 23 miles. Yesterday, did a 37mi R/T for the entire length of Coyote Creek Trail. To be honest, it was a bit of a bitch heading back as there was a constant headwind the entire way, but still enjoyable.

As I now have a rear rack, I got a pannier for it. I’m still on the fence for larger panniers, but I at least wanted one that I could carry the laptop and a few items in. Got a Detours Toto Pannier from REI, and so far, I think it will do the trick. Today, I went on a run to Target and Trapper Joe’s, just past SJC. Was able to get a few items (including the ever-loved Cafe’ Bustelo) home sans backpack, which is really what I was wanting. While I can use a backpack, I just don’t like it. Whats nice about this arrangement is that I can carry clothes and such with me when I ride into work and shower there, now. I do plan on buying grocery panniers, but I’m still a bit on the fence there. Jandd makes some nice, very functional models, but Velo Orange is supposed to be making their own, which would then match the saddle bag (Croissant bag) that I just bought. Still not sure which way to go. I’m going to sit tight for a bit as a) I have a way to transport my laptop and binders and such, and b) Safeway is walking distance from the house – this might mean I won’t need panniers until I’m ready to do some long distance travel. A randonneur bag might be closer to the top of the list.

Being that I’ve not had to fight the rain, I’ve noticed that I’ve noticed more, whilst riding around. Leaving Target, I noticed music coming from the car next to me. At the next light, I noticed more music pouring from a sport bike on the adjacent street – he got a ticket. In neighborhoods, I notice the lack of traffic. I can smell what is being cooked, or – for that matter – smoked. All of these things would have gone unnoticed if I were driving.

Of all this positive, there’s a little negative. It appears that I have bent the rear wheel. I noticed this as I kept hearing a rubbing/squeaking sound. While so far this has not affected the rideability of the bike, I find this irritating. I haven’t done anything that (in my opinion) should have caused this. For that matter, I don’t recall bikes being this fragile. However, when I mention this to my roommates, they counter with the fact that the 10-speed I rode 25 years ago probably did not have such lightweight components as I have now, and as such, were more durable. I’m hoping to ride for a bit longer before I get the wheel tended to. It’s nice riding the mountain bike with index shifting, but I’ve been missing the beauty of the Dawes.

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