A blog about cycling...especially the long distance stuff

Monday, 11 November 2013

Gale force fun & broken bikes

Since I last posted, it’s been a bit of a torrid time on the bike, with a whole bunch of “mechanicals” and some not very fun times dealing with constantly windy weather. The wind has been really unrelenting of late, I can only recall 1 calm day in the last couple of weeks, and this week is no exception, with a only the briefest window of a couple of hours on Friday morning forecast to not be blowing a gale! 

This has definitely been getting me down. Last week I managed to ride a lot anyway, racking up 700 km in about 10 days -  but the legs were pretty shattered. I'm at 80% of my goal now, with 2000 km to try and cover before new year. If the wind eases, I think I can still make it – but if it stays like this I’ll be hard pressed to pull it off. I'm still a good way behind target…as illustrated by the red “target” line in my cycle geek graph:

2000 km to seems like a ridiculous amount for a month and a half. So mentally I'm taking it one week at a time: 280 km a week will get me there, which sounds much better!  I'm just going to focus on that…
I’ve also had a string of break downs on both my bikes. On my tourer, a converted Specialised Cyclecross, I had a cracked rear rim, replaced the chain & rear cassette, replaced the hub,  and had a bolt holding the rear rack shear off, leaving half the bolt still stuck in the frame. I've got all that fixed now but she was out of action for 3 weeks. I have now replaced the rear wheel with a much stronger 36 spoke wheel which should fare better for my next tour. It always was a bit dicey trying to get by with standard wheels when riding with a heavy load, and that led to most of the break downs above. I was very fortunate that I got back to Melbourne OK from Adelaide in one piece though,  those break downs out in the countryside would have been disastrous!
Meanwhile on my commuter bike, a couple of weeks ago I rode of this piece of metal:

It looks like a broken piece of a machine part….and it somehow managed to go right through the tyre, both sides  of the tube, and also punch a hole in rim. A couple of days later a spoke broke on the same wheel as well.

Fortunately I wasn't too far from work when the later happened…but for about 10 days I was without both bikes while they got fixed, and that put me even further behind on my target. To top things off, last week the front derailleur cable just snapped right off on this bike, so the commuter bike is back at the shop…again! I guess so many km’s in one year will cause this kind of wear, but it’s unfortunate timing.
Not the most positive or riveting blog post I must admit…but frankly it’s been really tough keeping going lately!

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