Friday, March 23, 2007

New Bike Blues

I'm normally a used bike kind of guy, but have been riding new bikes for the last year or so, and yesterday the lifestyle change finally bit me.

I was riding alone yesterday on the lunch ride because I had meetings that conflicted with the time everyone else was riding, or maybe they just don't like me much.

It was a lovely day and I was having a pleasant climb to the water tower on the hill when my left foot hit the ground on my down stroke. I looked down and saw my foot attached to the pedal and the pedal attached to the crank, but the crank was no longer attached to the bike.

My new bikes have been so reliable that I have done nothing to them but oil the chain and put air in the tires. I have all but forgotten my normal used bike maintenance checks, and here I am, crankless.

The first thing was to see how lucky I was going to be. I looked around for the crank bolt and of course saw nothing. I started walking the bike back down the hill still hoping to find my crank bolt and wasted a perfectly good downhill in the process.

Once I got to the pavement, I decided to keep looking for the bolt while I tried to ride back. My first attempt was to use the bike as a scooter with my right foot on the existing pedal and pushing off with my left foot. That didn't work worth a crap. It was like trying to ride a pogo stick. But wait. I remembered that I have a fork lockout. Locking out the fork made a huge improvement, but I still wasn't making very good time.

Then I heard the words of The Sarge echoing in my head. "Don't bobble, Bitch!" I'm still not sure what that means.

Back when The Sarge was riding with us, he would occasionally ride one legged for training purposes. I decided to give this a try and the ride changed dramatically. I was actually able to keep a good speed going on the flat roads back to the office. I even managed to pass one rider on the way back to the office. OK, he was probably about 106 years old, but he had both legs.

I scanned the road for my bolt while I was riding and never did find it, but I did find several rocks that look like bolts from far away and a few miscellaneous tools that had been abandoned by other travelers.

I guess my honeymoon period with my new bikes is over. The moral of the story is, keep up on your maintenance. I'm just glad I didn't pull this bonehead move during long ride.


Jeff said...

Geez! Which bike was this? Are they the ISIS style splined cranks or the new outboard bearing 2-piece style?

Scott said...

I forgot how much of a tyrant I used to be.

check it.

Jeff said...

Here's the link in Scott's comment:

Brett Wolf

Sandie said...

I too have ridden out with one leg - cos the other was broken.

Sure sounds like you are whining Todd....

Jeff said...

And here's Sandie's full link HERE.

lauren said...

wow! that story on brett w. is crazy! that's so inspiring.

there's a guy here in our cyclocross racing scene who lost a leg in a motorcycle accident. andi is his name.

the way we first met him was at a race and our kids had decided he has some special super bionic mechanics in his fake leg.

we stopped andi after his race and asked him to explain the leg to the kids. he's got a shock in it that helps with all the bouncing.

super stud - he races single speed.

Todd said...

The bike was my Stumpy, and it has the new 2-piece outboard bearings.
The funny thing is I looked at it again yesterday and the crank bolt is stuck inside the crank, so I could have repaired it on the trail, but what kind of story would that be?

Leave it to Sandie to out-do my story with her macho, broken leg comment. Did she pass anyone on her one legged ride back? I don't think so.

Did the story come off as whining? I was trying to sound amused.