Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Summer in March

Despite my gimpy wrist and sore back it was just too warm out to stay off my bike. I wrapped my wrist real well and figured my back would be fine as it never bothers me while riding. I thought it was going to be in the 60s when I left work today but I guess it was at least 70°. It was nice not having to wear all my winter gear for a change.

My bike wasn't in good shape. The last time I'd touched it, it was encrusted in snow, salt and street grime. Since I hadn't originally planned on biking home I didn't pack any chain lube. At first it wasn't too bad but upon reaching the Lakefront Trail I began to really hear my chain squeal. Then my already marginal shifting got even worse. My chain was jumping all over the place.

The Lakefront Trail was jam packed but I didn't mind the congestion. It was really nice to see some life on my commute home for a change. At Grand Avenue I started to follow a guy on a road bike who wore a big back pack. I kept a bit of a distance and just wanted to see if I could keep up. Just south of Fullerton I gave up. He had a pretty fast pace and it was especially challenging with my crunchy drive train. I managed to keep him in sight all the way up to Ardmore though and caught him just as the light was changing. He and a pack of other bicyclists turned up Kenmore while I continued west to venture up Broadway.

By this time my wrist was beginning to ache and my gearing was just awful. Both were really spoiling what would have been a fantastic day. At least I had a nice tailwind. At the stop light at Isabella and Sheridan I came upon a group of bicyclists out for a training ride. I said hi but was really glad I was turning. All the racket from my bike would have been embarassing.

Once I got home I gave my bike a good cleaning and lubed the chain. I noticed my rear brake pads were really worn down. This was especially surprising since I just changed them a few months ago. My rear wheel is also a little out of true. I figure it must have been from the potholes last week.

Distance Traveled: 24.3 miles
Distance to date: 2140.0 miles
Price of gas: $2.64

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