Not Evangelism

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mechanical Problems and Autumnal Clothes

The last mile or so of my Evening Commute is uphill. In the mornings this makes for a gentle introduction to the day; legs spinning, wind rushing past as I accelerate into the day. In the evening, the gradient is a final push, after which home is a deserved and welcome reward.

Last Friday, on the start of the gentle uphill, I had what is affectionately known as a Mechanical.

Coming out of the saddle rather than changing down a gear straight away, I started to exert some power, when I felt and heard the chain slip on the rear sprocket.

Very shortly thereafter the bike ground to a halt and I dismounted with some haste.

A quick inspection of the rear wheel revealed that the rear derailleur sticking through wheel itself; the chain had stuck, broken at the split link, and the mech had sheared off at the natural weak point of the derailleur  hanger. The jockey wheel cage was also warped, and the mudguard had folded where the derailleur had caught against the supports.

In short, and for those less bike-technical, the bike was very definitely not rideable.

So I slung it over my right shoulder and began the hike home, cleats clicking and clacking on the pavement, grateful that I was so close.

This incident is the first of its kind, in over 700 miles this year, and in two decades of cycling. Happily, it was a pleasant evening, and a mile walk with my bike on my shoulder was not unpleasant.

Autumnal Clothes

With the advent of September, the weather has changed for the cooler; a reminder that it's time to check the autumnal wardrobe is still clean and serviceable after a summer of disuse, replacing anything that needs it before the winter gets going.

For me, this means dragging out the waterproof jacket and leggings, and making sure the bib shorts still fit. I may swap to my long finger gloves, or keep the mitts on for a little longer.

It also means checking that my lights are still in working order, and fully charged. With the foggy start last Friday, it's sensible to fit the lights early, and have them on the bike Just In Case. And mudguards need a bit of attention too; there's likely to be more water around, and mudguards will protect both frame and rider from the worst of the filth.

The good news is that all looks well with the autumnal wardrobe so I'm all set for making the most of my riding through the darkening months before winter.

Assuming I get the bike repaired in good time.

No comments:

Post a Comment