Saturday, May 10, 2008

TUC.5.10.08 (The broken spoke/short version)

I’m trying to be philosophical about it, but I must admit that I’m a little grumpy after a mechanical meltdown this afternoon took me out of the Tour of the Unknown Coast at mile 52.

I’ll write more about it later, but the short version is that I had a broken spoke on the rear wheel on the “cog” side. That meant that to fix the problem one would need a cog remover for an old 1980s bike. I didn’t have one, nor did the Adventure’s Edge crew at the TUC.

The day started beautifully. The weather was perfect. Things were going great from Ferndale to Rio Dell to Scotia and through Avenue of the Giants. I was hurting a bit climbing Panther Gap, but when I got to the top I felt good – much better than last year. I had a feeling at that point that I’d be able to finish the tour. Sure, I’d be tired and it might take me a long time, but I was in the game and looking forward to the rest of the ride.

As I descended down the other side of Panther Gap, I heard strange noises coming from the rear wheel. When I got to the bottom, the back wheel was all out of whack and rubbing against the frame. It was so bad that when the wobbly wheel rubbed against the bottom part of the frame on one side, the opposite side of the wheel rubbed against the downstays. I tried to true the wheel by adjusting the spokes, but that didn’t help at all.

If I did try to pedal the bike, it would have been like riding with the brakes on. The tire was nearly worn through from the rubbing that had taken place, apparently from the Honeydew descent.

So it was the end of the ride. Fortunately, everyone was very kind and helpful. Some folks really went the extra mile to lend me a hand, or at least give me some advice and words of encouragement. Thank you!

After repairs are made, I'll have to do something to make up for this disaster.

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