Oh, my aching ears…..
We found this morning that the front brake adjustment I made to the tandem over the weekend only made our squeeling problem worse. As Pam put it this morning, “That’s loud enough to wake the dead!”. I’ve tried adjusting them square on the rim, toe-in, toe-out, and have sanded the rim. Toe-out with a sanded rim gave us the best results, but only temporarily, and having the things toe-out seemed to reduce our braking power.
If I’m gonna get it resolved before our trip, I’ve really only got one shot to do so….tonight. Since this really started when I changed the brake pads earlier this summer, I think I’m gonna try a new set of pads and work from there. To do that, I guess I’m gonna have to ride my bike to Sunshine Bike at lunch or on the way home tonight. Heck, I guess if push comes to shove, I can try the old ones again.
Edit…New brake pads seem to be the answer. I got a pair of generic looking MTB pads from the bike store, mounted them with just a slight toe-in, and based on several runs down the hill in front of the house (both alone and with Pam), they don’t squeel. Good deal!
This morning’s ride was a pretty good workout. It seemed like Pam woke up about 1/2 way back from the high school and wanted to go fast. Prior to that, I had been working pretty hard, but didn’t feel like we had anything special in terms of speed. Once she decided to go for it, she worked me really hard. She wanted to try for a lot of speed up Sunshine, so from the time we turned off of J Highway, I was pretty much gasping for breath the whole way back.
Our average speed ended up at 17.6 mph.
The commute in was just that….a nice ride through town. I really enjoy that 8.6 miles….it’s pretty flat and I can get “in the zone” pretty easy.
At lunch, I rode 10 miles to buy $8.00 worth of bicycle parts. I picked up a different set of brake pads…pretty generic ones at that, but that’s what was on the tandem in the first place.
As I was leaving Sunshine Bike, riding south on Stewart street, an old man in a van nearly pulled in front of me, causing me to lock up the rear wheel and skid a foot or so. I don’t have a clue how he couldn’t see me….we were facing each other for a period of about 4 blocks, and there were no other cars on the street. When he started to make his left turn in front of me, I yelled, hit the brakes hard, and made a big motion with my arm to catch his attention. Then, as he finally stopped and I passed, I shook my bony finger (not THE FINGER) at him to let him know I was unhappy. His carelessness or not guaging my speed correctly, or something boneheaded on his part put me in harms way, and that makes me angry. I do my part to make myself visible and follow the traffic rules as they apply to a cyclist, doing everything I can to ensure my own safety, but I’m still at the mercy of a lot of drivers who don’t have a clue that I might be out on the streets with them. Unfortunately, in this summer of high gas prices, there are a lot of cyclists out on the street, and it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt. I know I’m ranting, but the fine citizens of Springfield, MO need to learn to be more bicycle friendly…….
By the way, in the last week and a half, I’ve noticed a significant up-tick in the number of folks who look like they’re commuting by bicycle. Unfortunately, a lot of them aren’t wearing helmets…which is another rant in itself!
By the time I get home tonight, I should have at least 47 miles for the day.
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