Saturday, May 26, 2012
Cracking up ...
So far, the holiday weekend riding plan has pretty much gone south on me.
Yesterday, I left work around 3:00 and planned to get in a decent ride before dark. But that wasn't to be as my rear tire flatted about 5 miles in. Of course, a flat should never end a ride, but as I was getting ready to fix it, I realized I had everything I needed except an allen wrench to remove the wheel! I simply forgot to pack it. Stupid mistake, and my punishment was a 5 mile walk back to the car. The one upside was that a whole bunch of other riders offered to help as I past them. Unfortunately, no one had the wrench I needed, but it was cool that they all would stop to offer. I always ask if there's anything I can do, and it's pretty cool that so many others feel the same way!
So no big deal - I was planning on a big ride today anyway. I was planning on heading back to Blue Marsh again for a longer ride (more about miles than pace this time) but at the last minute, I decided to stay local. I figured it would be easier and better just to go to Wissahickon because while the riding would be tougher and more challenging, I could plan the route to continually pass back by my car, which would allow me to better simulate pit stops. I was hoping for about 60-70 miles, which wold be kind of like doing 80 or more at Blue Marsh. And I knew it was going to be hot and humid, so I liked the idea of not having an hour and a half drive home afterward.
But again, it wasn't meant to be. In fact, I'm really glad I didn't go to Blue Marsh, because today's mechanical failure could have been a nightmare if it happened 20 miles form my car out there.
I'd been riding about 10 miles or so when I noticed that my right foot felt like it was listing a bit to the outside at the bottom of the pedal stroke. At first, I shook it off as maybe a loose pedal. I figured that I could keep going as long as it didn't dial itself out, and that I'd look at it once I got back to the car. But it started to get worse, and I started to think that maybe my shoe was broken. That would have pissed me off because the shoes I was wearing were still pretty new and they're supposed to be high end. But I finished up the section I'd been riding - about another 7 miles or so - and by that time it was really noticeable. So when I stopped at the car, I took a close look at the pedal and, well, I quickly realized that it wasn't the pedal that was the problem:
I noticed that there was a through-and-through crack on the crank itself right near the pedal. I was basically ripping it off slowly with every pedal stroke!
So I realized that this was not a repairable mechanical, Not even my old friend electrical tape was going to help this one! But, knowing that I wold have to replace it, I figured how much more damage could I do if I tried to go for at least a 25 mile day (I was at about 17.5 already)? So I decided to ride up the road, pick up the trail above the inn and maybe re-ride the section down to Lincoln Drive. So I started to ride and got about 4 more miles before it started to feel like I was going to damage the pedal, so I bailed at the next trailhead and headed back to the car along Forbidden Drive. Oh well. At least I went over 20 miles!
All in all, it was a decent training ride -- I fell into my "distance mode" very easily. I felt crappy early on, but came around gradually and by the end of the ride was feeling stronger than I had 20 miles before. That's a good sign. I'd have definitely preferred to get more miles, but there really wasn't any option for that today. I can't even be too angry about the break, either -- I've had this crank as my SS crank going all the way back to when I had that awful ENO hub set-up on my first singlespeed, the converted OCLV 26er. So it was about 7 or 8 years of pretty steady beating before it finally failed. I'm okay with that.
So, instead of riding until about 4:00 today, I was done before noon. What did I do with my extra time? I came home and took a clue from the Krame ...
He always knows what to do with extra free time. He's sort of a pro at it.
Some good news -- my LBS guy is loaning me a crank until my new one comes in, so I'll be able to pick up my bike tomorrow. I had a ride planned with Dr. Craig on Monday, and now I won't have to bail or, worse -- ride gears!