Friday, July 15, 2016

the right universe

Chris Cook gets credit for this one.

I've been having way too much trouble with the front derailleur on the Yellow Maserati; if I could get it to shift onto the big ring from the larger cogs, I'd get chaindrops in front when I shifted to the big ring from the smaller cogs. But If I adjusted to avoid the chaindrops, the chain wouldn't go onto the big ring from the lower-gear cogs.

I mentioned this to Chris, and he said (uncharacteristically quietly for him), "Make sure you're in the right universe."


After some further explanation (at more predictable volumes), it turned out that he meant to be sure that all the OTHER adjustments were correct before you go nuts on that last one. And he was right; the front derailleur cage was out-of-alignment with the plane of the chainrings (the cage also needed some subtle reshaping, but that would not have helped by itself).

Now, I would have said it the way I did in the last paragraph, and it would have been completely unmemorable. But "Make sure you're in the right universe" is just odd enough (and, I submit, poetic enough) to stick in my head. So now, when I do adjustments, I remember to make sure I'm in the right universe, to remind me to look at the OTHER parts of the system, as well.

(Chris insists that he was the originator of the practice of changing routes mid-ride on group rides to drop the pace-pushers who were off the front, a practice that has been associated with Don Sprague, and which is now called "Spraguing" in the club. I have no idea if that's true, although "Cooking" the pace-pushers is a better moniker for the practice. In any case, I wanted to make sure Chris got credit for this.)

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