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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well tonight's ride is one for the books. It wasn't far. How far I won't know till I look in the morning, but it was about 10 miles. That tonight was an accomplishment. First of all it was just cooling off as it had been 100+ today. The moon was full and it was shaping up to be a fun night ride. Well sometimes its better to just go to bed.

Got air in the tires after repainting my seat post today. It had a number of scratches that were beginning to rust, so I had sanded it down and resprayed it. Everything was ready with the sunray.

Head out of the shop, and I clip in as I am climbing the little section of grass leading to the driveway. It is a ride I have done so many times I can do it without thought, so I thought. I hit the edge of the driveway at a very shallow angle, but maybe a foot further down the drive than usual. Instead of rolling up onto the concrete, the lip on the edge of the concrete caught the sidewall of the front tire. Clipped in my only thought was a 4 letter word, cause I knew what was coming. Down I go, but I really don't think being clipped in changed anything. When the front wheel turned, I was done and it happened so fast I don't think I could have gotten a foot down anyway.

Down I take an assessment of what seems to be working and what isn't. Broke my fall a bit with my wrist, but that really wasn't smart. It jammed my wrist up a bit, but that passed in just a few seconds so it wasn't broken or injured. Nothing else hurt, so I get up to check the bike. The only thing unusual was no one was watching to laugh at me.

Now the front brake has a problem. Ok I wheel it into the shop and at times its on, without the handle being depressed and its always dragging. I put it on the stand. Its a bit puzzling at first. Nothing seems to be bent, but then I realized what happened. In the process of picking the bike up, the handlebars had done a full 360 and wrapped all the cables around pulling on the front brake cable. A 360 in the other direction back to where the handlebars should have been in the first place and brake problem corrected.

I should have said forget this, but I wanted to ride. Head out and notice that something isn't right. Instead of turning back I try to sort it out as to what is wrong. This bike doesn't seem to be stable. Now I have ridden bikes with all sorts of problems, and an unstable bike really isn't a new experience. Some are just twitchy. Trouble is this one is normally solid as a rock on the move. I realize the handlebars have been knocked out of alignment in the fall. Another adjustment, but not a huge deal. No hands off tonight, and I press on. I want to ride.

I head down my hill known as bi_ _ _ hill. It's not so bad down hill, except tonight a pot hole was hidden by the dark. It was only about 6 inches in diameter, but of course I hit it hard enough that both of my water bottles came out of the cages. Thought about turning around, but didn't want to head right back up bi _ _ _ hill, so I press on.

Now I am hearing every little knock, and I question whether I can trust this bike tonight. As I ride on, I figure out that one of the worst knock is the fender knocking against the frame. Again I can take care of that and at least I haven't broke a dork disk YET. Still its a nice night . Its cool, and I really am trying to enjoy it but its just time to turn back. I have pushed my luck enough tonight, so head back up bi _ _ _ hill. What else could possibly happen???

About three quarters of the way up the hill, I get a glimmer of a black spot in the road that something might be watching me. I couldn't tell if it was a repaired spot in the road, but at about 20 feet I saw a tail rise that had a white stripe right down the center. I thought "OH S#@!" which is exactly how I almost smelled when I got home because it was a skunk right smack in the middle of the road. I managed to get over to the other side of the road and it decided it didn't want to waste its spray. This is one time I really wanted a ride to end.

As I pulled back into the shop, I think what a night. I have crashed. I have dealt with mechanical problems with the bike, and I nearly hit a spectator, and my time didn't matter. With that combination I am now officially ready for Le Tour.
 

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I was glad you decided to head home while reading with all that crazy stuff happening. I was beginning to feel your pain.:(

You "should" be golden on your next trip eh??:)
 

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At least your ride made for an interesting story :)

Would love to be able to go on moonlight rides where I live but am afraid I'd wind up as a hood ornament for some idiot on their cell phone.
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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Good luck on the Tour hope every thing goes well
When I was young I traped skunks got 50¢ a pice for the pelts. I had a set of coveralls out in the woods and would change. One day my mother offered me $1 a day not to trap any more Skunks and that is how I went out of the fur trade. The smell of skunk does not bother me :rolleyes:and there are many on the roads around here. I ride by just like thay were not there. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It was the jinx and I am about ready to take it back from Rola. The next day I found a flat front tire. Fixed it, and think it was likely a pinch flat from the impacts. Cleaned the chain, took a good look around and realized something was bent. It looked like a hanger, at least at first, but no dice. The bike just didn't shift right. Tinkered with it a bit, and then just took it to the wrench. He checked the dish and made some adjustments, but it wasn't that far off. Then they realized the cage had been bent. I had to replace the rear derailleur but all seems well now.

Wrist is sore, heat is awful. The only think I haven't broke in the last couple of days is a dork disk and a book. Yet it could have been worse. The crash could have been at a much higher speed and I been hurting far worse than I am. Oh the joys of cycling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well looking back on it 24 hours later, though I am sore, out a rear derailleur, and all fixed but the sore wrist which will heal, there are a few lessons to share.

1. Like in airplanes, complacency will get you hurt. It is something I learned to guard against in an airplane. In airplanes it is at best terribly expensive. A fender bender in an airplane when I got out so many years ago were over 10 grand. Id guess it might be double that now. You learn to assume nothing if you want to survive.

Yet last night the crash wasn't from a lip in the concrete. It wasn't from the fact that night made visibility difficult. The crash was caused by complacency. From the days of my 20 inch banana seat bike with butterfly handlebars, we learned quickly not to get on asphalt or concrete at that shallow of an angle. I knew better. I knew what was happening when the bike started going down. Would I have been able to catch myself had I not been clipped in? I won't ever know, but the truth is maybe but I doubt it. It went down so fast it would have been more luck than skill.

The good. Helmet on, and though my head never hit the ground, it shows just how fast things can go bad. Have I ridden down the street to test an adjustment sans helmet? Yes but no more. Would have any other safety gear helped? Doubtful. The way my wrist hit concrete I don't think any padding would have helped significantly. Should I have parked the bike right then? Well in hindsight yes, but I didn't know that then. At this point I can't fault the decision to continue.

Part 2. Hitting the pot hole was beyond my control. Could my lights be better?? Sure. Would have brighter lights prevented it?? Again no way to know. Physically my eyes take longer to adjust from light to dark than most now and dark objects are worse than others. Yet they were fully adjusted by then, and likely nothing other than putting a light that cost more than the bike on there would have helped. No fault so far.

Where I can fault my decision making is continuing to ride a bike other than straight home that had been crashed and taken another hard impact. Once I started to question the condition of the bike, the proper decision should have been to take it straight to the shop and look it over. Yet the decision to ride it to sort out what might be wrong, is what I did. What I knew is the bike wasn't stable. Since I found out I had a flat, the instability might have been from the tire going down as well as alignment. At some point in the ride the computer says I hit 22mph. A flat tire at that speed wouldn't have been pretty. I think it was on the hill before I hit the pot holes, but a bike that had been over shouldn't have been that fast till fully tested. That should have been done in the daylight hours.

Part 3. By the time I saw the skunk, senses were as alert as they have ever been since the last time I flew an airplane. It is also why I probably didn't come home smelling like most members of Congress. Give myself a good job for avoiding a problem, but had I turned around after the pot hole it would likely never happened. The versus of Pop goes the weasel just seemed a fitting way to end a bad night.

Part 4 the aftermath. The next day checking the bike over gave me a chance to really look. Found the leak in the front tire. Checking the rim and all indications appear to be a pinch flat. Rarely do I patch a tube, but this time I used the scab patches. Went on very easy compared to the kits I used as a kid that took some skill to use. I'll know tomorrow if it worked. Give myself an atta boy for cleaning the chain and cogs while I had the rear wheel off. Checked the shifting and it just didn't shift right. Did some quick adjustments, but something didn't look right.

It may seem odd but with so many lines, it was somewhat difficult to tell exactly what wasn't right. None of the adjustments I made helped. Another look and I could tell something was bent, but not really sure what. Took it to the wrench for that other set of eyes and the mechanic seemed shocked to get a bike without years of grime an grease to deal with. Think I earned brownie points with him.

It was bent in such a way that not only did I have problems spotting what was bent, but so did he. He had to use the tool to check the wheel before all the lines started to make sense to him as well. Once you knew the wheel was good, the cage being bent on the derailleur was easy to see. At that point it was fairly easy to see it wasn't a hanger or anything with the frame. I ended up with a better one that should make shifting better.

All in all I can't kick myself too bad. I was about to, but saw the replay of Le Tour and there is Jens Voigt going down all by himself. Was there oil on the road? Did he just push it too hard, or did he just relax a split second at the wrong time and get complacent for just that instant it takes to find yourself down??? If a rider of that quality can go down on his own, guess I can let the Fred in me not take it so hard that I too found ground and move on with lessons learned and filed away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is the story that never ends. Rola I think I am going to need at least a share of my old name back. Got up again and when out to check the front tire to see if it was really fixed. FLAT again. Put the patch on yesterday, a scab. Gave it a few minutes and put it in the dunk tank. Seemed sealed, but tire is flat. I thought ok, just change the tube.

Drained the compressor tank and set the regulator to 110psi for a tire that is supposed to hold 100psi. Put in the new tube and tire back on, put the chuck on the air valve and you guessed it. Another verse of Pop goes the Weasel. This time I don't think it was me. The air showed no sign of slowing, and if it had equalized at 110psi, it still should have held. Taking that tube off and its split down the seam of the tube where it looks like it was formed. No way to fix that and I have no other tubes. Double checked the tire and didn't feel anything.

Now I am out of options. I either repatch the tube, or leave it off till tomorrow till I can get more. Patching I can do today, but will they hold?
 

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@Mark good luck with the repairs man. I know how that goes feeling jinxed. Went for a ride one day myself all went fine almost up a hill what happens? Stem came loose front wheel went out of whack sent me to the ground never in all the years I been riding has that happened to me. I'm just grateful it was up hill short time before I was bombing down close to 30 mph that would have been very bad. Gotta love when S*** like that happens. Oh how I love the mysterious flats myself. LOL Gotta love bikes eh?
 

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YAY BAIKS!
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Need a coach?

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I am afraid I have a hair line fracture in that the wrist is still sore. I am a little hesitant to ride at night till its healed and I am totally pain free. Yet its 100+ and no way I am going to put this in a cast at that temp for this amount of pain. Still I can not complain. In my younger years, I can remember sweating an oil pressure gauge for about 3 minutes. It went to 0 in a Mooney 201 at about 8000 feet at about 180 mph. If it was a real problem I had about 3 or 4 minutes left for the engine to run and I was in the clouds miles from an airport. It was a long 5 minutes wondering if the engine was going to quit. It was a problem, but a gauge problem. Though its long in my past, 20 years of that kind of stress and not much on a bike is really going to shake me up too much.
 
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