I passed by the 1500-mile mark on my bike sometime last week. I had no idea I was so close to such a milestone, otherwise I might have thought to watch where it occurred. No matter - after getting off to a very slow start at the beginning of the season, I’ve picked up my pace and look to surpass easily the number of miles I’ve ridden in each of the past two years.
I guess after carrying me 1500 miles, anything deserves a little break and a some TLC. Last Friday, I thought I’d take a spin around town after work to try out the new, taller seat post I had just installed. After riding a few blocks down the road, it soon became apparent that my bike wasn’t happy.
Every downward push on my pedals was accompanied by a rather annoying clack, my rear brakes seemed to be dragging and the chain was slipping all over the place. (Truth be told, the chain slippage was something that had been slowly getting worse and worse, I should have recognized the warning signs and replaced it well before now) I rode back to work, threw the bike in the back of the Beetle and headed over to Erik the Bikeman.
After a quick diagnosis and some explanations by one of their skilled techs, I soon came to the realization that I had let a number of things go longer than I should have. I should have recognized the chain slippage, and I knew my rear wheel had somehow warped slightly over the past few months. It is possible that my fall a few weeks ago might have made the wheel worse…the clicking noise coming from the pedal area of the bike was more than likely caused by some kind of dirt that had gotten into the bearings. I accepted the news from the bike doc reluctantly, left my bike into his care and now have until Wednesday to survive sans bike.
After 1500 miles, I guess that’s OK, I don’t exactly baby my bike. A good once-over will be great, honestly, considering I’m planning on doing the 60-mile Woodbury Days Ride this upcoming Saturday. A portion of its course follows the Saint Croix River from Stillwater to Afton, should be a beautiful ride. Having a freshly serviced bike should give me that little bit more confidence making the 60-mile route fall before me as the 50-mile route did 2 months ago.