Monday, October 23, 2006

Cold Night Biking

I think I'm going to hate winter. When I started my bike ride this morning it was in the thirties and dark. I didn't mind the chill at first but as I got further into my ride my arms were cold but my trunk was hot and sweaty. I was layering with my Goretex jacket, a short sleeve jersey and a long underwear top so I thought I'd be ok. It got to the point that I just wasn't enjoying myself.

On top of that, biking in the dark has been wrecking havoc on my bike. I don't see potholes as much as I use to and I almost totally wrecked. While crossing Elmwood on the Green Bay trail in Wilmette, I misjudged where the trail met the road and ran right up on a curb. I was certain I taco'ed my front wheel. But it seemed ok. It made me really appreciate the Mavic touring rims and 13 gauge spokes. They seem to be bomb proof. But the rest of my bike is a series of rattles, squeaks and grinds.

My XTR rear derailleur continually jumps gear and my middle chain ring is starting to skip. I think I need to take my bike in for a tune up. But I've had trouble with the XTR derailleur. When I had one on my Scalpel I always had to double click the index shifting to move it between my most often used gears. I've read on discussion boards that this is a common problem. Even getting it professionally adjusted provided only a temporary fix. Maybe the main spring needs replacing. I've certainly put a lot of miles on it.

In anticipation of wetter weather I installed Planet Bike Hardcore Fenders. They are glossy black so they are a perfect match for my bike. They were a bit tricky too install and I had to use longer screws than the ones provided. Once I got them on though, I was very pleased. I never liked the look of fenders on road bikes but figure I have to put them on if I'm going to keep my feet dryer and my bike cleaner. I actually like the look of them now. I'll probably take them off come summer though.

Distance Traveled: 24.3 miles
Distance to date: 1050.5 miles
Price of gas: $2.43

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