Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tis the season... get lip from co-workers for coming into the office in shorts.

I'm not a moron. I know I'm fugly. It's way too warm to be wearing jeans on the bike in the morning, though. Two separate people mentioned my attire (a black t-shirt and black loose-in-the-legs mountain bike shorts that look like swim trunks) this morning. I threatened to start coming in wearing a racing lycra get-up if they didn't back off. I'm so bad!

A mocha and a little bowl of Malt-O-Meal is fueling my morning, post-commute. I had a nice ride this morning, although my legs are a bit tired from all the riding yesterday. I beat the 6:15 bus to the bus stop but I left at 5:50. I wasn't blazingly fast, I just left early. The bus usually gets to my usual bus stop at about 6:07 or so. I could see it coming up the road south of the viaduct that I take. I could have just pulled over onto the sidewalk, waited, and flagged it down. There'd be no point in that, though. I like riding my bike!

I forgot to mention yesterday that I had another mechanical nuisance while riding the trail. My Outlook is a cheapish bike, a notch above the $150 bikes on the bottom rack at your favorite discount warehouse (Target, K-Mart, Wal*Mart, etc) not to mention that it's 9 years old (with under 1000 miles on it). Original retail price was somewhere in the $200-$250 range, placing it below "entry level" at most bike shops, which don't often sell a single new adult bike model under $300 or $350. That said, it's not exactly built like a tank. You can view the specs and components here and clearly see that it probably wasn't built for the daily (ab)use of a 200+ pound guy using it for commuter duty. I upgraded the brakes (Jagwire), Pedals (Shimano PD-M505), Bottom bracket (had my bike shop put stronger bearings in), Wheels (including a Freehub rear) and cassette (SRAM 8-Speed 11/30). For the most part, it's finally a sturdy ride.

So, back to last night's mechanical problem... I started to get another bizarre noise every pedal rotation. I look down and about 3 links of my chain are hopping up and off the chainring. I shift to the granny ring and it goes away. I shift to the big ring and it also goes away. Back to the middle ring and it starts acting wierd again. I figured I had a bent or broken tooth, so I pulled over.

One of the screws had come out of the cheapo plastic bash guard, and jammed in between my middle and outer chainrings. I tried to screw it back into place, but it wouldn't stay. I removed the faulty screw, and all was well again. I checked the other screws to make sure they were still snug.

This morning, another one started coming loose. I am going to super-glue them into their holes tonight. If it continues to happen, I'll probably have to remove the bash guard, which I only keep on because it also keeps my pant legs out of the chain.

So, that was my morning commute!


Anonymous said...

What you do is wear the lycra shorts and put a very large pair of boot socks in the front. If anyone says anything just look at them and shrug your shoulders sheepishly..

Noah said...

While that's kind of funny, I don't think that would go over very well in my serious office environment.

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