This particular story pertains to a more fitness-oriented ride, though it involves my commuter bike, so I decided here was the best place to post.
I was out this evening going along a regular route for me and ended up calling it quits after 5 miles with some major problems.
There is a rougher patch of road along my ride in between new sections of asphalt - the road is ridged, as though tree roots have gotten under it. Not normally bad enough to throw a rider or anything, but tonight the plastic clam that holds my tail light onto my rear rack decided to call it quits and shatter, dropping the light into the street and sending batteries and parts everywhere. No traffic thankfully, so I collected my parts and it still worked, but left without a place to keep my tail light I decided to head home before sundown.
On the way home, my rear tire seems to be riding soft - again, not normally a huge problem. I'm still riding the stock tires and tubes on my "new" model Schwinn Varsity (yeah, the WalMart one...
) and they are far from durable. I have extremely slow leaks at both valves, but I'm still shopping around for the best tube/tire combo for me. During the course of pumping up, a gust of wind overwhelms my kickstand and sends the bike tumbling. I catch it mid-fall, but, not before my schader to presta adapter has become bent onto the presta valve it was screwed onto. Great.
I'll skip starting another one of the seemingly weekly tire debate threads, so my question is mostly this: I've now broken the mount for my tail light, which I obviously need. It is a slide-on toolless job (the Bell Sports Lumina) and I'm wondering if there are any creative solutions out there for mounting a light onto tubular rack with a flat vertical plate on the back lip.
Sorry for the novel - I guess I'm ranting about a failed ride as much as anything.
Tangentially, what is the serious assessment of this Walmart Schwinn Varsity as a commuter bike? I've had it about 6 months now and put around 600 MUP miles on it in that time with regular maintenance, but, sitting down tonight made me start thinking that I cant afford to have this as my only form of wheeled transit if things break down more mechanically than the relatively minor annoyances I dealt with tonight. I'm at home for the summer now and can call a ride if things fail, but when I get back to school in a couple weeks, no such luxury.