Riding update

After the race last weekend, I went back down to Eugene with Chris and Karey for a couple nights to work on a bike pamphlet job that Jim Anderson gave us.  The goal was to get roughly 1,200 stickers on over 400 pamphlets, which were to cover up the name of a city with a different name of a city.  I won’t bore you with any more of the details.  Actually I will.  Each pamphlet was approximately 7 inches by 4.5 inches by 0.08 inches deep.  The pamphlets contained bike safety tips and other bike related info pertaining to riding with traffic.  The colors of the pamphlet were white and another color that I forgot.  The name of the city on the pamphlets was Saucalito.  The names that we were changing it to were Larksburg and Novato.  

Anyways, after a night of stickering on Saturday, Chris and I decided to let out some energy on Sunday’s CSC ride.  All that needs to be said about that is: Boo yeah.  (that’s for you Nick).  We attempted to ‘savage it up’ and I think we succeeded.  Legs were torn, tires were melted, asphalt was cracked, brains were boiled, forest animals died of shock and were eaten by Chris, nearby fir trees were snapped, tectonic plates drifted faster than normal, streams were evaporated, which turned into clouds  and then rained down on us to help wash away the tears and blood of our limp and lifeless victims.  

But I think the high point of the ride for me was during our way back into town.  I grabbed a long blade of grass from the side of the road and tickled the back of Paul’s ear.  He slapped at it thinking it was a bee.

“I think there’s a bee on my neck,” he said. “You see anything?”
“Nope. I don’t.”
“It felt like a bee. Are you sure there’s nothing on my helmet?”
“Yeah, I don’t see anything.”

A few more minutes passed.

“Damnit!” “I just got bit again,” he said as he frantically brushed the back of his neck.
“Huh. I still don’t see anything,” I replied.
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah. Nothing there.”

Mike and Chris held their laughter a few bike lengths behind.

After the third slap he got off his bike, took his helmet off and did a thorough check for bees. HAHAHAHAHAHH he’ll never know!!!

Tuesday I did PIR and barely escaped a brutal crash on the first lap. A guy a few spots in front of me stood up to bridge a gap that had already formed during the first 40 seconds of the race. I stood up to match him and get on his wheel and as he accelerated past the front of the peloton, his foot came unclipped (I think) and he went down straight onto his knee at 30+ miles per hour. I think he left a lot of skin on the ground. He went down slightly to the left and by chance I swerved right. Other than that incident, and also going over those bumpy things on the side of the road while passing the 3/4 field once, it was a great workout.

Angry time:
Today sucked. I got in about 2 hours of riding during 4 hours of chamois time. You wouldn’t think that installing a chain would take that long. But it did at my local bike shop up here in Sherwood. One hour to get it on (installed improperly). Then almost another full hour of trying to fix it after I returned to the shop when it began skipping gears and hopping all over the place. At this point, I told them I just wanted a new chain. But they don’t carry Shimano chains, only SRAM and Campy. I had brought my own new chain in. They said they would get me a new Shimano chain tomorrow morning. I didn’t want to wait, so I went to Performance. Performance was out of 10 speed Shimano chains, but had a full stock of SRAM. Who the hell buys SRAM anyways? And is it really compatible with a Shimano cassette? I didn’t want to take the chance, especially when it costs over $70 for a stupid thing like a chain. Next stop was REI, where they had a full supply of SRAM (cool. sweet), but only a couple 105 Shimano chains. 105 was the one that was giving me problems so I was hesitant to buy another, but that was my only choice. I told the REI people I wanted to install it myself, but they said no. Turns out the guy working as the mechanic didn’t know shit about bike shit and asked me to help put the chain on after all, since, you know, he “only really knew about mountain bikes.” I grabbed the chain tool out of his hand after he questioned me when I told him there WAS a difference between a 10 speed chain tool and a single speed chain tool. I’ve made that mistake before.

But even after I put the chain on there myself, it still makes me nervous. The pin didn’t seem to go in there very well and it’s freaking me out. Tomorrow I guess I’ll make my way to yet another bike shop to see if maybe they know how to install a chain properly. This is ridiculous. Life Cycle, where are you when I need you?

**Updated one day later** I took the bike into the Bike Gallery and low and behold…my chain still wasn’t good. Turns out the tool I used at REI wasn’t a 10 speed chain tool after all. The guy at REI even called up his boss who’s the head mechanic there and asked if said tool was a 10 speed tool. The head mechanic said yes. So I trusted them. Idiots.

Luckily, the people at Bike Gallery pushed the pin the rest of the way in and told me to get my own 10 speed chain tool. Sounds like a good idea at this point. Know what else sounds like a good idea? Bamboo. Because bamboo is super cool.

3 thoughts on “Riding update

  1. It sounds like you should hire your own personal mechanic. In light of the current economic situation you could probably get a pretty good deal! The SRAM conspiracy is getting a little old hugh? I thought that things were just fine with shimano and campy….Now another option that doesnt jive with the other two… Long live stores like REI and walmart, without them and their “savy mechanics” what would we do? And so many sweet future landfill ornaments!…The world we live in!

  2. Sram and Shimano chains and cassettes are fully cross compatible. I don’t recommend using a Sram chain or cassette though. Also you can use any chaintool on 10s chains (just not a BMX chain tool!). What you have to be careful is with the “clicks” that you get when pressing the Shimano pin into the new chain, you should get 4-5 “clicks” when pressing the pin with the tool. If you go too far you’ve ruined that link and have to shorten the chain and press the pin into a “fresh” link.

  3. OMG, the story about your ride back from Cottage Grove is the funniest thing I have EVER read!!! Great Work!

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