Thursday, May 01, 2008

The multi-sport commuting obstacle course

First event: Bicycling!

I rolled out into crazy headwind after work. I coasted down Broadway, took off down Southwest Boulevard, and got a ways past the brewery when the sidewall blew out on my front tire.

Now, the sidewall's been ailing for a while. I got this bike a year ago today), and this is the original factory front tire. For a while, my brake pad was rubbing the sidewall. I've been keeping my eye on it, and meaning to pick up a new Bonti hard case tire like the one that's remained trouble free on the rear wheel for many months. I guess I just didn't replace it in time. Not sure what finally triggered the inner tube failure. I was on flat, smooth pavement and not hitting the brakes. It just went PFFFF! Pfff-pff-pff and was flat.

Second Event: Bicycle Hiking. Also known as "The Walk Of Shame"
About 3 miles from my tire failure sits the closest reliable stop for the Dreaded Bus. So begins the Bicycle Hiking. I walked. And walked. And walked some more.

I had more than enough time to make it to the bus stop. I took my time. Took some pictures. I even posed my bike as if everything were hunky-dory.

IRS Facility's parking garage security gates. These have nothing on my data center's entry ritual.

Skyline from the IRS Building. You can see clouds forming.

Looking to the east towards the northern part of Crown Center. The Link (skywalk connecting Crown Center and Union Station) and the Union Station Fountain are visible.

Union Station.

I think this is the main Kansas City Post Office. Not positive, though.

Next Event: Bus Riding.
Not much to say about this one. I took the bus a few miles to get me within walking distance to The Trek Store. Then, Another Hike Of Shame. About 3/4 mile worth.

Fourth Event: Fixing a tire.
I picked up my new tire and a new inner tube, then went to work fixing it myself right there in the shop.

With all that out of the way, it was time to hit the road. Lots of weather bubbling up. Major props to New Media Meteorologist Ed Roberts and the Kansas City Weather Podcast for keeping me and so many others in the loop via live chat. I really appreciate it.

Random Tunage:
Eiffel 65- Europop
Bryan Adams - Heaven


Frogman said...

Look Ma, tornadoes!

MRMacrum said...

My first thought was professional. Does your brake pad need adjusting? Is your wheel true?

Then I just read the rest of the post. "Walk of Shame" is a good way to put it. I hate walking my bike. I feel foolish. But walking a bike is so much easier than walking a car.

Noah said...

The wheel is true. It's round. It's centered. It's bottomed out in the fork. Skewer is tight. This bike has always had trouble keeping the brake pad all the way on the rim on the front wheel, and I'm not sure why.

When it was brand spankin' new, the OEM brake pads had a taper to them which only made contact with the rim, but barely. As time wore on and the pads wore thin, the tapered part got wider and intruded on the sidewall. The pad holders are all the way as far out as they can get on the calipers.

When I installed my front fender, I tried with all my might to shift them a bit; thinking that somehow I could alter how they attach to the fork. No dice.

They only need about 1mm more. I'm thinking of just grinding out the sliders on the calipers just a smidge with a rat-tail file to allow the pad holders to move down just a little further.

Apertome said...

It's weird that it failed for no apparent reason like that, although I suppose flat tires always happen when you least expect them. At least you got some cool photos out of it.

MRMacrum said...

I notice they are sidepull brakes. And by thier very action, they pull up towards the tire. A little filing in the slot might just do it. You should also be able to find some pads that have a slimmer profile. Regardless, it is a very aggravating problem. I know. Ruining an otherwise good tire with a brake pad sucks.

One trick I have used in the past is filling the leading edge of the pad that wants to hit the tire. Usually do not have to take off much. And you can do it with a sharp utility knife if you want.

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