So, I was out for a ride on Saturday, about 36 miles into what was supposed to be a 75-miler (and I was secretly hoping I'd have time for my first century if I didn't waste too much time). I start hearing this odd rattling noise about a mile after going over a set of RR tracks. It comes and goes, so I have a bit of trouble tracking it down by ear, but after a couple of minutes, I can definitely tell that it's coming from my bike somewhere... or is something in my handlebar bag rattling?
Seems to go mostly away when I coast, but it doesn't come back when I soft pedal - so I don't think it's the BB or cranks... Hmmm, best to stop and give the bike a good once-over to see what it is.
Check the front tire, it spins freely, no problems there... must be in the rea... Oh, THAT'S what it is!
So. The nut and bolt needed to put it back on is clearly lost to the mists of time. And, I don't have any spare zip-ties, so I reluctantly turn my bike around and start slowly riding it back to the country store where I stopped six miles back.
About halfway there, I realize I do have a couple of zip-ties that are holding on an old rear blinkie that has since been supplemented with a Planet Bike SuperFlash. Hmmm... if I can only worry them free since this is (of course) the one day in the past 10 years I got out of my house without a pocket knife.
That takes about 10 minutes, and I reattach the fender. Results aren't bad:
I considered turning BACK around and extending the ride more, but worried that the jury-rig might not hold. Besides, that country store has a good selection of nuts and bolts, and I'd rather fix it right than have it break again, getting involved in the real spokes, hours from home, and really ruining my day.
So... I continue back to the country store, buy locknut, washer, and bolt, and put it all back together, using their pliers and a pair of wire cutters to remove the zip-tie. They refused to take any more money than the 29 cents the parts cost, which mildly annoyed me, but has won a customer for life - that is, every time I'm down that way.
With two roadside repairs eating up my time, the day was wearing on, and I still had 33 miles to ride home, and a date to keep with my wife that evening. I prudently steered home and decided to be happy with a 72 mile ride. It's not the 75 miles I originally planned, much less the century I was hoping for, but it's still a personal best.
Also: I tried a new energy solution this ride. Literally, a solution. For those who've followed my gastric bypass nutrition thread, you'll know that I figured out how many fig bars to eat per hour (one per 15 minutes seems to work), combined with gatorade, to keep me going. I wanted to see if I could do it with pure liquid, so I mixed 45g of maltodextrin into every 20oz gatorade bottle to give it more calories.
It worked, but not perfectly. With 25 miles to go, I really started to tire out. I did some rough calculations, and realized that I was getting about 250 cal/hr with this test, when I was getting over 300 with the figs. I was also getting less liquid and electrolytes overall, because my 24 oz bottles only had 20oz of Gatorade in it (the other 4oz were taken up by the maltodextrin).
Analysis: The solution is not a solution. But it may be part of one.