Commute #8: August

Well, this commute was the opposite of the July one. People were not very friendly, but vehicles were. Some sort of bizarro world here. I said my usual hellos and hi's with no acklowledgement whatsoever. Vehicles on the other hand were more than patient and waited extra long for me to get through intersections - some following me for lengths of time before passing and giving me lots of extra room. Weird.

On the way home, broke another spoke on the rear wheel. That is 4 now this year. I think I've broken a spoke once in the 25 years of decent, dirt and hard riding before I got this bike. So I limped home for 15 miles with the wheel slightly out of true and wobbling around. Felt like I had a good ride, but my overall time was terrible. It was hot too. Ugh.

Thinking about it last night and into the morning, I decided to keep riding the cross bike with broken spoke on the way back into work. How bad could it be, right? Well, I broke another spoke about 10 miles in. Now the rim was so far out of true the brake was rubbing and the tire was rubbing on the frame. Enough to where I was doing 15mph, my bike was jerking to slow down on ever revolution. At one point it was all I could do to pedal 13mph on flat pavement. I hadn't gotten to the hilly portion of my ride yet so I knew something had to be done. I stopped once to open up the brake caliper all the way to stop the rubbing. That did not work. Then I removed the brake pads altogether. Hmm. Still not working. Then I saw that it was the actual tire rubbing on the frame behind the crank causing most of the problem. The rim was so far out of true, I could barely get the wheel around a full cycle by moving it with my hand. So I stopped and removed the wheel again and proceeded to beat it on the ground with overhead blows. Got it to quit rubbing, but in the next 6 miles or so, it was pushing itself back out again. Argh. So I just kept pedaling and eventually got to work. Only 10 minutes of extra riding time, probably 20 minutes extra elapsed time.

Two choices that I see - and I hope it can be done by next week or I'll be riding the single speed mountain bike on Night Shift. 1) Have the wheel completely rebuilt. If it's not salvagable 2) buy a new wheelset. I was going to eventually use the money from selling Enzo to get another wheelset for road tires for the cross bike anyway, but that was going to be next spring/summer. Argh.

The only thing to salvage the rotten ride in this morning was the few people I ran across on the trail in the dark. I'm always careful about how bright my light is, so when I see people coming towards me, I switch to the lowest setting and aim the light down a little. (This still makes me laugh...) A cyclist coming toward me had his own light - I assume a special Walmart edition, because it was outputting very little light. As usual, I'm rolling toward him and I said "Good Morning!!" and all I hear is "....I CAN'T SEE BECAUSE OF......" What was that, moron? You can't focus enough to just ride straight ahead on the trail? You're not suppose to stare at the light. He was way over on the side, brushing his face on some nearby weeds/tree leaves. WTH? Then later, two walker-wanna-be-joggers...Again I say "Good Morning!" and all I get is grumbling as they're both holding their hands out from their face like they're staring at the sun. Really? Low setting people. Next time let me blast you with all 500 lumens. Maybe I will do that, just crank it up to see what people say.

Made me laugh. Grumpy people.

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