Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Brian and a case of chainsuck.

Dean to the rescue

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I have not been able to ride for two days, but this morning I was ready to go for my first try at a weekday commute to work. I hopped on the trail near our house so I could head over to Fire Station #3 where Overland Park was sponsoring an energizing station for morning bike

commuters. I got about a mile from home when my carrying bag became dislodged from the back of the bike and started dragging on the ground. I stopped and fixed it real quick but when I got back on something else had happened. Apparently during my shifting to come to a stop the chain had become kinked between the front gears and the bike frame. I quickly found there was no easy fix to this problem (at least for me). So I headed back home pushing my bike along the trail (luckily I had not gone too far) so it was only about a 10 to 15 minute walk back home.

On my way back home I was thinking about the whole notion of riding a bike for short trips or to work. Was this an omen of things to come? But then I started thinking about something that had happened with my old Toyota one afternoon. I was about two miles from home when a belt

broke in the engine and similarly, I was out of commission. The difference was that I had to wait for a tow truck (for an hour) and then spend several hundred dollars to get the car fixed. At least I was under my own power right now, got to avoid the cost of a tow, and figured that any repair cost would be minimal.

Once home I called one of the bike experts that I work with (Lisa actually was the one that got me to enter the Go By Bike Challenge) and I described what had happened. She gave me the technical term for it ... it's called 'chain suck'. So later in the day I made a visit to the Trek store. Dean was the person that helped me and it seemed to take him no time at all (having the proper tools sure is a big help ... probably something I'll need to invest in soon ... maybe for Father's

Day, hint, hint). Anyway, Dean also explained that I shouldn't be using the smallest gears on the bike very often since that puts a lot of wear on the chain (so that's my tip for the day for the rest of you novices in case you've read this far). I especially liked it when Dean said 'No charge' for his time! They definitely know how to keep a customer wanting to come back to their store.
Well, I'm all ready now for tomorrow when I'll once again try this commuter bike challenge. For what it's worth, I hear there was a good turnout at the fire station.

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