Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Single Speed Stupidity...

I’m currently borrowing Katy’s single speed bike until I get my own bike (cross your fingers…I’m bidding on one on ebay tonight..), and I have a few days off before my new job starts so I decided that today would be a cycling day. The weather is warm, though not sunny, the wind isn’t too bad, and the river trails are, for the most part, dry.

I headed down there, started at Capital and Humboldt, got on the trail and had this really nice flow going. I was dancing over the rocks and branches, heading up all those little hills with power, flying down the trail at a fabulous speed and then….

BAM down I went.

I hadn’t hit an obstacle, run out of speed, fell on a root or something, I just had gone down. It wasn’t hard, not even enough to rattle me, it just surprised me.

I looked down at the bike and saw a shiny metal thing lying in the dirt…it was a screw.

“Now where could this go?” I thought. Single speeds are not that complicated and it was easy to see where it was coming from – the chainring was loosing it’s screws! There was only one left holding on the ring. Out of the four I started with that morning.

I pulled out my tiny little multi tool and threw the bolt on the best I could and limped up off the trails. My plan was to head to the nearest shop, throw on some bolts and then head back to the trails, quick as a flash.

So, I headed to a shop, and they set me up with four new chainring bolts to tide me over. Happily, I pedaled back to the trails, this time entering at the east side of the north ave bridge, into that section that is all gravel park trails, pedaling happily along the flat trails. As soon as I got out of the park and out of the way of all the kids on field trips I stood up to get some speed to start getting my dance on and….

I hear the most terrible sound of screws popping out and the bike seizes and I somehow manage to unclip and bail, landing nicely in a grassy patch.

I stand up to inspect the bike and lying in the gravel are four brand new shiny chainring screws, all stripped and scattered, with the chain off and the chainring sitting pretty on the crank arm.

So, no harm done to anything but the screws I gather what I can find of them and put them in my jersey pocket, along with the chain ring and march right back to the store that had put them in for me.

The poor mechanic who had put them in looked really sorry as I marched in waving the chainring around.

“Hey, I need you to put these back in for me” I said giving him the screws…

A half hour, three mechanics, four new screws, and countless jokes about how I am the most powerful mountain biker later everything was re-attached and in working order. They actually took it out to test it and made sure it was okay.

I got back on the river trails but I just couldn’t, after tumbling off the bike in such a stupid manner, get back into a spot where I could tackle everything and found myself falling off the bike, skipping things I usually can tackle and thinking more about lunch than where I was going. I was very much a tree-hugger today, falling off the trail into the willing embrace of a few different trees this afternoon.

I figured this was a sign from the gods that it was a roadride sort of day. I’ll give mountain biking another try tomorrow…

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