This Space for Rent

Hey, it’s the Tour De Annoyance!

In the past three days, I have attempted to take my bicycle out for a hour or so’s riding twice. The day before yesterday, the rear tire decided, after a dozen or so miles, that this was a wonderful time to start falling to pieces.

At 6pm.

2 kilometers from home.

So yesterday I went out, bought a new tire, and wedged it onto the bicycle. But since yesterday was a late school day, I stayed at home babyherding until 7pm, when it was officially too late to go out and ride 25 km.

Today, at around 4pm, I had time and no babies to herd, so I hopped on my bicycle to ride for a hour or so. That grand plan managed to survive for approximately 20 minutes, because at 4:20 or so, when I was accelerating away from one of the approximately 37,000 grade crossings on the Portland Traction Trail, one of the spokes on the rear wheel went *snap* and instantly reshaped the rear wheel of the bicycle into a somewhat more pleasing potato shape.

7 kilometers from home.

FORTUNATELY the goddamn thing wasn’t so twisted I couldn’t ride at all; it still had enough structural strength to let me limp to within a couple of kilometers of home before the twist in the rear wheel got so extreme that the bicycle was making a horrid drunkard’s lurch every rotation (accompanied by an annoying *scraaaaaaaape* as the newly reshaped wheel ran into the bicycle brake.)

This is not the way that I particularly want to stay in shape. Zipping through the countryside at 30-odd km/h is nice. Walking back through the countryside with a crippled bicycle is not.

Hopefully I can get the rear wheel restrung and not have to sell my macbook or Pentax to pay for it (it’s nice to have modern computers, and it’s nice to take pictures, but if my heart explodes neither of those will do me much good.)


Oh, gah, I feel your pain.

My rear bike wheel is a custom job, not what came with the bike; the fellow at the shop commented it’s the strongest spoked wheel he’s seen on something not a tandem. Did this right away this bike, rather than after having it go all bendy on a bike trip along the Niagara River, which was the previous bike.

This year was having to have the rear hub repacked, to chase out the squeak due to water getting in and converting the grease into something not-slippery, and a full spoke re-tensioning; year before was bending the largest of the front crank wheels. It’s not even like I manage to ride a lot; most frustrating.

Hope third time’s the charm!

Graydon Fri Aug 1 15:56:34 2008

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