Thursday, March 03, 2011

Cycling without a bike…

This story begins, as so many do, last week.

I was out riding my Giant TCR2, having a really good morning ride. I was doing 16-18 mph pretty consistently and feeling pretty good when I realized something was catching on the pedal. For a while, I thought it was my foot catching on the bike frame – my feet are huge – but, looking down, I saw that wasn’t it.

For some reason, my left pedal and crank assembly was catching and my experience cycling told me that wasn’t good. I don’t have a lot of experience cycling but I do have enough to know about blowing out bottom brackets… mostly because I’ve blown out a couple of bottom brackets. You blow out your bottom bracket by riding your bike long after your bottom bracket starts to go, and it felt like my bottom bracket was starting to go.

I did the sensible thing and stopped. Sure enough, my left crank was getting wobbly. This time, instead of riding on it, I would do the smart thing and head back home. I went home and got my bike in the shop, hoping everything would be fine.

They were supposed to be finished with the bike on Tuesday, so I gave them a call yesterday to follow up since they hadn’t called me, yet. (Are all cycle shops horrible about calling when something is done? This is the second shop I’ve used regularly and they’re both like that!) Turned out, my bike wasn’t done… in fact, it wasn’t begun.

I hadn’t blown the bottom bracket this time. I had blown the entire crank assembly!

And this is where I beat myself up for being a lame-ass. (Not to mention a fat ass, which is the only way I can think that I broke that assembly!)

When I told Vicky, she reminded me of something I’d forgotten. I had put a couple thousand miles on my bike last year. Of course, things were going to break! This is what’s called “up-keep”! If it wasn’t for Vicky, I would probably still be beating myself up.

So, now the bike is getting back in shape for another year of cycling. In previous years, I didn’t start until later in April. This year, I’ve already begun. I’m shooting for 3,000 miles this year. I don’t know how close I’ll get but it’ll be fun trying. (Of course, it also depends on my work schedule… once I get a work schedule…) And I’ll keep going right away… once I get my bike back…

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