Mechanical Issues Galore!

I’m a planner, and it’s a good thing.

I took my road bike to the shop for a once over and new tape for the handlebars. We discovered the bottom bracket had a frozen bearing and needed to be replaced. I picked it up, good as new on Thursday. I took it out for a “lets work out the kinks and make sure everything is cool before LIVESTRONG Ride” tonight.

Immediately I felt my legs were tight, and not in a good way. It’s been 8 days since my last ride. I knew this was a good idea, a 20 mile spin before driving to Philly tomorrow. I patted myself on the back.

Mile 4: After braking suddenly for a car, the brakes started to rub on the rims. WTF!!! I said, on the inside. Front brakes, and rear brakes. Nothing was seated right. I stopped to fool with it, not really knowing what I was doing. The road was quiet and bucolic, save a teenage boy on a BMX meandering in front of me. When he saw me trying to fix the bike, he loomed closer.

“You OK?”
“Yeah. Brakes are screwed up. Just got it back from the shop, too.”
“Is that a carbon fiber bike?”
“I wish. The seat post is.”
“My friend’s Dad has a carbon fiber bike and he’s already ridden it 200 miles.”
OK, see ya.” …and he rode off. I love teenage boys. He was wearing a pink Superman cape. Not sure why.

I straighted out the brakes. The bike flowed under me like a precise instrument. My legs returned to form. I patted myself on the back again.

Mile 9: I’m cruising on a flat at a lively 16.5 mph. Nothing crazy, but a comfortable clip. My cadence is steady. I reach down for my water bottle and my foot pops clean off the pedal. Gatorade everywhere. Half the cleat is dangling from my shoe. WTF!!!!! I said, on the outside. I pull over, my cleat (see photo) has lost all screws attaching it to the shoe and hence, no longer felt a reason to remain attached to the shoe.

I pedalled home with one leg, 8 miles, trying to make another plan. I noticed my bike computer was wigging out. The battery was dying. Of course it was. What kind of bad mojo had attached itself to me?

Once home, I called Heather. She looked for spare screws. I looked for spare screws. Finally, a trip to Home Depot and I’m back in business. I got replacement screws that fit, reattached the cleat, and test drove the bike up and down my street in the dark. I’m patting myself on the back again.

And now I’m set for Philly. Except for the bike computer. I aim to resolve that in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania in the mall across the street from the hotel.



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One response to “Mechanical Issues Galore!”

  1. Leah says :

    Sheesh! That’s a lot of things to go wrong on one ride! But good thing they did when they did. Now you’ll be all set for your big event. Enjoy! The weather is supposed to be perfect!

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