Friday, April 13, 2007

More Train Racing

Another light biking week. It was a cool afternoon with negligible winds. A light crowd was on the Lakefront Trail.

My drive train is really beginning to act up. Whenever I down shift my chain starts to skip in my rear derailleur and my front derailleur is all but useless. The cold and wet city driving has really taken a toll on my bike. It is getting to the point that I might as well just convert my bike to a fixed gear. I don't think my knees would tolerate the small drive sprockets I see fixed gear bikes sporting though. I usually bike on the third gear and have a quick cadence.

Clark Street had more than the usual turning cars and other related hazards. It seemed I had to bob and weave all over the place to avoid getting smooshed.

Just as I turned from Isabella to Poplar in Wilmette I was passed by my nemesis, the Metra #355 from Chicago. I was just going to let it go but when I got to the Wilmette station it had just pulled away. So I thought I might be able to at least catch it in Kenilworth. With all the signals still blocking cross traffic I was able to scream northbound. But just as I came in view of the Kenilworth station I saw it pull away. Since the train was still within my grasp I decided to continue chasing to the next stop at Indian Hill. But the route takes me about a block away from the tracks so I had more mileage to cover this time. As I hammered slightly uphill to the next station I just barely missed catching it. The distance between stops now increases so I knew my last chance was to catch the train at the Winnetka station. But I was getting really tired now and my form was getting ragged. When I saw the train's taillights through the trees at the station I figured I still had a chance. A southbound local blocked my view until I passed under Oak Street. I saw I was too late. The train was moving now and I know that once it gets rolling it accelerates much quicker than a fatigued middle aged guy on a bike. So I eased up and decided the enjoy the rest of my ride.

Distance Traveled: 24.3 miles
Distance to date: 2432.6 miles
Price of gas: $3.11


Apertome said...

It's too bad you didn't catch the Metra this time, but it sounds like fun anyway. I read biking blogs from people in several different locations, but it's really cool to read yours, knowing a lot of the streets you talk about and imagining riding there.

Steve said...

Thanks for the nice words. I'm glad you enjoy it.

Timothy said...

If you're thinking about fixed/singlespeed, don't feel you have to go with a real steep gear. I started out with 48/16 because that's what a friend had, but I'm much happier now at 48/18 and thinking I'll swap my 16t cog for a 19 or 20 (I've got a flip-flop hub).

Just started reading your blog last week, and been enjoying it. I'm a southsider, but I might see you on the LFP some day I have to go downtown!