Given the propensity for extremely hot temperatures in the afternoons, Pam decided we should forego commuting on the tandem and take it for our normal morning loop to the high school. That was a very good call on her part. The only pleasant part of the day was pre-dawn! I know we’ll be longing for summer later this year when it’s cold enough to freeze your you-know-what off, but for now, this heat wave is getting old.
I felt pretty strong on the bike this morning in spite of a reasonably quick 18 or so miles yesterday evening across town, so I tried to spend a lot of time in the big chain ring. We did fairly well, averaging 16.9 mph over that mixed terrain course. I think that’s the highest average we’ve had for it so far this summer.
After depositing Pam at home and climbing on the Surly, I headed off to work. Unfortunately, I suffered a mechanical on the way. As I stood on the pedals at the corner of Ingram Mill and Catalpa, I noticed a pretty bad rubbing sound for the first time. Glancing back, I could see that I had a pull-string from my pannier bouncing in and out of the spokes, so I stopped to correct that. Unfortunately, the scraping sound continued, so after another block I stopped to investigate and found that the rear fender was rubbing on one side. Thinking that the string had probably just caught and bent a fender stay, I stopped again, muscled the stays around until the fender was clear and headed on my way once again. It didn’t take long to figure out that my shifting had gone all to crap in the mean time. What the heck is going on? I kept working to try to see a pattern in the shifting problems, and couldn’t pinpoint anything, so I was thinking that I would just have to deal with it after work.
After riding another 3 miles or so, I finally had an idea. Looking down, I could tell that the rear wheel was sitting cockeyed in the dropouts! That explained both issues. You see, I had taken the wheel off last night to change my brake pads, and with those horizontal dropouts on the Cross Check, you’ve really got to torque down the quick release or you will muscle the wheel out of alignment. That’s what I had done. After fixing it (then re-aligning the fender), things were fine once again. It was a self-inflicted problem! Don’t you hate it when that happens?
Finally, the ride home yesterday evening was the first time this year that it felt like it could actually be dangerously hot out there. There was a pretty stout head wind, so I just took my time and tried not to expend very much energy along the way. I sure was glad to be home and glad for a working air conditioner!
Here’s the GPS track for the entire day. I rode 40 miles total.
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