Monday, May 12, 2014

Hanging Moon

I had a good commute in to work this AM after a hell of a weekend. It started out Friday night when I decided to go for a ride to check out if the single track was getting to the point of being ridable and knowing that I had a lot to do over the weekend, so wouldn't get time to ride.

The entrance to the trails is 2.5 miles from my house. So I rode to the trails, hopped on and powered down the trail, not riding hard or anything. Get to a trail called College Connector which starts with a nice little down hill followed by a steepish uphill with a bit of a rooty section and off-camber stuff. Not difficult, but you want to be in the right gear going into the climb. Anyway, on the descent I get to the combo I feel comfortable in and just before I lose momentum, start peddling the uphill.

That's when it happens. Not more than a half mile into my trail riding. Pop. Clang. The sound of metal hitting spokes and the feeling of a set of cranks that won't move.

I figure that I might have branched my wheel or dropped my chain or something. Instead, I found just what I didn't want to see. Busted rear der.

I give the bike a quick once over to assess damage and it appears that apart from the busted der and a bent spoke that things are overall okay.

I could break the chain and set the bike up single speed to make it home, but given that it's a brand new chain and the wife is out and about anyway, I decide to just push the bike back out to a roadway where I can meet here, give her a call to come pick my busted arse up, and begin waiting and seething.

I shouldn't be too upset, I've never busted a der before and this one had a lot of hard miles on it. But still, I was not looking forward to putting more money into the bike. I was looking forward to a nice evening ride in perfect Alaska spring weather.

Now I had yet another task to complete on my to do list over the weekend. While I enjoy wrenching on the bike, I prefer to do so when 1) it isn't critical that I get it fixed in order to be able to make it to work the coming week, and 2) I don't have two other huge to do items that are just as important to complete.

The big thing on the to do list this weekend was to get the car back up and running properly. Leaking cooling system. Could be a number of things, but not something I want to be driving for long distances. Water pump, hose, radiator itself. I needed to both diagnose and fix the issue in the two days I had available. Now I had to locate a der in the Valley so that I could fix my bike as well.

Not fun.

So I found a der at one of two local bike shops. The shop I normally go to had a der that would work, but in the Alivio line and I just couldn't see stepping backwards and spending money on something that I know I would destroy in a matter of months, so I went to the other shop and they had the XT der I was looking for. The only problem is that I could've gotten it for 56 bucks cheaper in Anchorage as the big-box sporting goods store that starts with R and ends with I.

But, beside the point, right? I got the part. In between getting parts for and working on the car, I spent time working the bike. Lots of fixing going on this weekend.

Anyway, as I install the der I realize that the hanger has bent. The hanger. On a Surly. Non-replaceable. But steel is real and, it seems, real easy to bend. After some fiddling with hammer, vice grip, and square I was able to get it back to near perfection - well, the best I could without a reference to look at - and with only minor cursing. Installed the der and got it nearly dialed in all within an hour or so.

Last night I was finally able to get away and test the fix. And it's sweet. Shifting seems more precise, though I don't have it completely dialed in yet, and the ride is quieter. Nice.

Is a new part supposed to be that dirty already? Oh yeah

Before I know it, I'll have everything but the frame replaced on this dang thing.

I won't even go into the car repair tale. Nothing exciting happened. Just the normal weekend wrencher mistakes and missteps.

Oh, sunrise was beautiful this morning.


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