Monday, August 2, 2010

Some Firsts

and some first-in-a-long times.

Led the PV 14-16s this past weekend with Dan L. I took the 16mph end of the spectrum. Finished with a 14.1 avg mph, which says pretty much 16 on the flat with no wind assistance. Getting faster!

Sunday, I set out to do some vertical feet. First in a long time - I rode by myself. After a few near-death experiences back in 2003, I pretty much stopped riding by myself, unless it was a commute, or a ride to meet someone. As the family member who would worry most about me was out of town, I emailed the route to my parents (they live two blocks away), and emailed the occasional locational update. Now, if they'd been on Facebook :-) it would have been much easier.

The route:

For those of you not familiar with the area, everything to the NE involves hills. Major climbs - up to Skyline, rolling along Skyline to the NW, dropping down to Rock Creek and climbing Rock Creek/Elliot, then Beck (down, then UP).

Note: Rock Creek at the bottom is now mostly enormous potholes with little bits of pavement randomly scattered about. Keep that in mind. After you cross the county line, the pavement is beautiful. Go figure.

Note 2: paused at the bottom of the Rock Creek climb to eat a banana. A couple of guys were sitting on a pickup in the yard, chatting (there are houses back there, widely scattered), and they asked if I needed any help. No, just having a snack before the climb. They told me to have a good ride and be careful. :-)

Didn't pause on any of the climbs. Thought about it briefly, but figured I should push through it.

After summiting Beck, I decided that I had done enough climbing, and besides, it was Street of Dreams back on Skyline by Cornell, and I didn't want to ride through the crazy traffic. Pulled the armwarmers and windvest back on and...

Dropped down Logie Trail, then east on Helvetia, easily climbing the stretch up to the church that I had to sag last September. Started considering my options to cross over Hwy 26. Traditionally I'd cross at Helvetia/Shute Rd. But Shute is now Brookwood and the speed limit is 55mph. And I'd want to make a left. Nah. Continued east on West Union until the industrial park, wandered through there, popping out on Cornelius Pass right by Liberty HS, crossed the highway, turned left onto Evergreen, and then I was on autopilot for the remaining 9 miles.

Firsts: Lemond rolled over 13000 miles. Shortly after that event, I noticed a ping-y sound from the rear. Hoped I hadn't broken a spoke. Not likely, I am not big enough to break spokes. But one was quite loose. The same one that I had noticed and tightened a few weeks back.

Pulled over, found the spoke wrench (part of my multitool), thanked the two passing cyclists for their offer of help (one on a Homer Hilsen, but it wasn't Mike J, aka LeafSlayer; neither had a spoke wrench anyway), and tightened it up. What I didn't notice until I got home was that I had been a little enthusiastic there, and the wheel had been rubbing the brake.

Never used a spoke wrench on a ride. Ever. Have used a chain tool, but not on my bike. For that matter, I've never had a wheel-related mechanical. The spoke is loose again. Need to find that goop that keeps them where they've been adjusted. Or take the wheels in and have my fav mechanics at my LBS look them over. Only 3000 miles on them, too.

Another first - heading east on Cornell, riding up to 174th, cars were pulling out of an apartment complex to my right. First two were fine. The third was going to follow.... "HEY!". And the driver stopped and said: "sorry". Not the usual response! Nice!

Vertical feet (mostly in the first 23 miles) 2242
Distance 43+ miles

postscript: the climbs at the west end of Skyline were ones that were shown to me by Rickey S. and Michael G. I later proposed them for a Portland Velo West Hills Wanderer route (used to beat ourselves up on the hills on Wednesday evenings; I led the mellow pace group). Incredulous email from Marc M... "do you know HOW MANY vertical feet that is?". Sort of :-)

1 comment:

bikelovejones said...

That "goop that keeps them adjusted" is SpokePrep, and it's used by many (though not ALL) mechanics during the initial build.

If the spoke continues to come loose after adjustment -- at this point -- best bet would be to perhaps have the whole wheel checked over for other signs of fatigue or weirdness.

If everything else checks out and you can safely squeeze another 500-1,000 miles out of it, replace the spoke -- AND the nipple! -- and use some SpokePrep.