Saturday, March 28, 2009

Riding Again

So much for my ambition last weekend of finally getting back on my four day a week riding schedule. I went out on Tuesday and about 10 miles into the ride I started having problems shifting the rear derailleur. It was sort of random, but frequent. Some shifts would take two clicks of the lever, some just one. On top of that, I'd do a down shift and the derailleur would do an upshift, then a down shift. To top it off, it would sometimes simply shift itself. Up. Down. Whatever, and usually the opposite of what I needed right then. It had a mind of its own. Needless to say, this made the ride a bit difficult, and I almost stopped, but, being stubborn, and not knowing any better, I persevered. It turned out pretty well. I did 22.04 miles with an average of 17.6 mph. At 18 miles I had an average speed of 18.5, but the last 4 miles of that loop climbs 150 feet (I know that thanks to my Garmin!) and was into a light headwind, so there wasn't much hope of maintaining that average. Given the bike problems, I was sort of happy with the final result.

Once home I checked the bike over, but couldn't find the problem. I'd adjust the cable, but nothing made any difference. It was late, and I gave up. Next night I brought the bike in the house and set it up in the trainer so I could adjust things and watch tings and maybe find out what was wrong. Watching it shift was kind of entertaining. I'd shift it one way, and the bike would go the other, first, then do what I'd commanded. Like it was rebelling. "You can't tell me what to do" I get that from the kids, too. So, finally, I pulled the the housing away from the shift lever, and "Well, there's your problem!". All but two strands of the cable had failed. Easy fix, but no spare. The worst part was, I'd been working in High Point, a half mile from a bike shop, all day. If I'd known what the problem was, a spare would have come back to Liberty with me. Thursday's ride was now cancelled. Friday night I went to Performance Bike in Greensboro and spent $6.00 on new shifter cables ( proud of myself, that was ALL I bought), came home and replaced the failed one. Truth is, I haven't even looked at the other one, but, since it gets shifted, like, once on a ride, when I am out of shape, and never when I am not, it isn't a pressing matter. I suppose I should at least give it a token look. Maybe. Later.

Today's ride went much better. The bike shifts like it did when it was new (note to self: replace cable before 4,000 miles). It was supposed to rain all day with thunder storms in the afternoon. I got out around 11:00, rode 42 miles, averaged 17 mph, and stayed dry, it was just starting to spit a little rain as I got home.

Tomorrow is supposed to be partly cloudy with 25 mph winds. It'll take some motivation to go out and fight that, but I'll probably go. Uh, maybe....

Key Lime cake is sitting on the table, waiting to replenish the calories I burned today, and tomorrow and... I added some lime zest to the recipe thinking it might make it more tangy. We'll see, soon.

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