Friday, June 18, 2010

The Day Before

Friday, June 18, 2010

Yes, no - this is it.

Tomorrow is the start of The Big Ride, and I readily admit to a case of the flutters.

Questions abound.

Did I train enough? I hope so.
Did I train too much? Probably not.
Is it going to rain? Who the hell knows.
Is my bike ready? Thanks to Eli, yes.
Will I have any flats? I hope not, but I’m ready if I do.
Will there be any crashes? Oh yeah.
Am I forgetting anything? Probably.
Will I feel like this at the end of it all? Good chance!

Once again, huge thanks to everybody who has supported me this past few months, (especially my dear sweet Penny - I couldn’t have done it without you). Your financial contributions exceeded my personal goal by almost 50%, and pushed our Team Napier goal way over the top. Congratulations to all of you!

As important as the money is, what has meant more to me is the personal support from all of you. It has been truly inspiring. I will transform that support into pedal power and carry you all in my heart to the finish line.

Well, that’s it for now. I have to clean and prep the bike, finish packing, check my checklists again (and again), and get ready for some serious carbo loading with the rest of the Team.

I’ll be back next week with a full report.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bike Trouble, revisited

Monday, June 14, 2010

Turns out that it wasn’t the bottom bracket after all, but the bloody freewheel. We didn’t have time to look into it on Thursday, so I spent most of Thursday evening fretting about my options while Penny did a thorough search of the interwebs looking for something that might fit.

She came up with several possibilities, all of which we put on hold until we could determine a course of action - repair or replace.

I met up with Eli at Dizzy Friday morning at 10:00, and after some grunting and penetrating oil, managed to get the freewheel off.

(A confession - all along I thought that I had a complete Campagnolo gruppo; it turns out that the freewheel is, in fact, a SunTour. How embarrassing. But as Eli pointed out, it is an older model, so it’s probably a really good one. Thanks, Eli!)

This is what a Campy freewheel would have looked like:

We pulled it apart, and to our delight, nothing was broken - full of road grit, but the bearing races were all good, and the pawls and springs were intact. A good cleaning, new ball bearings, fresh grease & oil, and I was back in business.

A big thanks to all the guys at Dizzy for their advice and good humour while we (mostly Eli) worked to get my old bike back on the road.

And huge thanks to Eli for giving so freely of his time and skill to get things sorted - I owe big.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bike Trouble

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ten days to go until the Big Ride, and I’ve got bike trouble. On Sunday I went out with my regular group for a long ride out to Maple Ridge, and halfway through the ride I started hearing a clicking noise coming from some part of the drive train. At first I thought it was just the chain not sitting cleanly on the rear gears, but no. Fiddling with the derailleur did nothing, so attention focussed on more serious things - rear hub, freewheel, bottom bracket.

Fingers were finally pointed at the bottom bracket - when I stopped pedaling, the noise stopped. Elementary, my dear Watson.

So there I was, out in the middle of what is charitably known as The Shitsticks, with a potentially ride-stopping mechanical problem, 70 km from home. The only thing to do was to keep riding, so I did.

By the time I made it back home, the clicking had gotten louder, plus there was now a chirping noise that sounded like a small flock of sparrows. Not good.

But there is a good part - Eli, Penny’s godson and Ace Bike Mechanic (he’ll be one of the mechanics on The Ride), came by and said, no problem, bring it to the shop and we’ll take care of it, and give the bike a thorough tune-up for The Ride. So tomorrow we’re going to tear that bottom bracket apart and fix it, because that is what we have to do.

Training Report #6

I’m tweaking things a bit with this report and adding last Sunday’s ride to last week’s stats. This week is going to be a bit sparse on data until the Talbot is back on the road, and even then I won’t be putting in any long distances. All part of tapering down and saving myself for the main event.

Eli’s Tip #29

Fresh out of hand cleaner? Hands all covered with bike grease? Don’t know what to do?

Get a little squirt of dish soap, add half a spoonful of sugar, scrub, rinse, and viola! - cleaner than clean.