Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Loose saddle, Park MTB-3 to the rescue and miscellany

This morning, I noticed things getting a bit wobbly under me. Athough still below freezing, it was warmer and calmer than recent mornings and I was making record time for using the sluggish knobby tires. I ignored it, and kept on truckin' to the bus stop.

When I finally arrived downtown, I got a chance to assess the situation. The allen bolt holding the saddle to the seat post was coming loose something fierce. My bike sits in my warm apartment all night long, and gets exposed instantly to sub-freezing temps every morning. It then survives a round-trip total of 60 miles mounted on the rack in front of a bus, with plenty of jostling and jarring. Then it gets ridden home in the cold, and moved back into the warmth of my apartment. With that kind of routine, a few loose bolts should come as no surprise.

I broke out my trusty Park MTB-3 Rescue Tool, right there on the sidewalks of downtown KC, MO and tightened the offending bolt.

For lunch, I made a quick bike jaunt down to Lulu's Thai Noodles. It's fun to get there because there's nearly a mile of down-hill Broadway Blvd on the route. On a slow mountain bike, one can exceed 30 MPH without trying. Unfortunately, Broadway turns into a gruelling climb on the return trip, forcing even disciplined cyclists to spin lower gears. It was then, I noticed that the wobble had returned. I once again tightened it up before heading back to the office to enjoy a steaming, spicy batch of Pad Se Eu. It's worth noting that I'm never going to lose weight if I keep eating this kind of stuff, but it's *so* yummy.

Anyhow, my wife had an interesting challenge for me when I got off the bus: swing by a local deli and pick up a gallon of their uber-tasty sweet iced tea. It added about 2 miles to my ride home. The problem is my bike was already loaded with my work/commuter gear. I ended up stuffing my pockets with gadgets and tools, and carrying the iced tea in my tool box (which has been BOLTED, no longer strapped) to the cargo rack. Then, halfway home, she let me know to pick up some evaporated milk from the grocery store as well. Turns out she was completing some chicken dumpling soup for me. That totally hits the spot in cold weather like this.

My saddle is sturdy again. My belly is full of thai noodles and chicken dumpling soup. My commute is getting faster, so I am getting stronger and to top it all off, I put about 11 miles on the bike today instead of the usual 6. I call that a good day.

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