Saturday, October 15, 2016

derailleur is seriously wounded on metric century ride

That title got your attention, didn't it?

Laura OLPH decided her flatlands bike was getting resentful from neglect (or maybe it was lazy from disuse; I can't always tell), so she decided to use one of Tom H's routes in Burlington County today for a flat 100km/60 miles. Despite scraping frost off the windshield this morning (c'mon! Second time this week, and it's only mid-October!), seven of us decided it was a good idea: besides Tom, Laura, and me, there were Robert N, Jack A, Gordon, and Raj.

Tom did the ceremony of the holy kickstand...

... and, while it did protect us from injury, it's clear to me it was ineffective against mechanical mishap... but more later.

The route (links to ride page) is a modification of one from Tom's book. Today's route took us along Chatsworth-Tabernacle Road, which had a decent surface, but was a bit busier than I would have liked. On the way, we hit the most happenin' event in the county, I think: the Cranberry Festival in Tabernacle.

After escaping the traffic, we stopped for pictures, and, of course, I got pictures of the folks takiing pictures.

We stopped at Nixon's in Tabernacle (if you're riding down here, you're probably going to stop at Nixon's in Tabernacle), where there was a cake sale to support a dog-rescue operation.The woman standing in the picture below rescues dogs from shelters in the South, where the custom is to keep the dogs only a week before euthanizing. She picks 'em up and finds 'em families up here in The Reproachable Northeast. I was glad to buy some junk food and throw some cash her way. (I did not promise to take a dog.)

Obligatory bikes pic:

From Nixon's I was hoping for an uneventful ride back to Mansfield Park...

...but at about mile 50, I heard a chatter in my chain. I pulled over to investigate, and found that the upper pulley wheel had stopped turning and was locked in place. (They're also called jockey wheels and follow wheels, and yes, the terms are interchangeable; don't give me no B.S. about that). By loosening the axle bolt, I got it to turn well enough to get me back to the car, but I sweated about the bolt falling out the whole way back. It held, though.

When I investigated at home, I found the bearing in the wheel had turned to the ball-bearing equivalent of hamburger:

(Hint: All the balls are not supposed to be on one side of the wheel, and the stamped metal dingus that holds 'em in place is not supposed to have twisted shards sticking out like that.)

The new jockey wheels should be delivered Friday. And so much for the Holy Kickstand. I'm goin' back to my grouchy atheism.

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