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Old 02-08-03, 07:22 PM   #1
P. B. Walker
Breaker of Spokes
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Massive Frustration

I got so frustrated today I almost felt like throwing my bike into a ditch.

We just got a healthy dose of snow yesterday, so I figured I'd give the bike paths a try with my mountain bike (and knobby tires). I do my pre-ride checkup and notice the rear wheel has a wobble. Hmmm. Start doing a quick true, and quickly realize I have a broken spoke. It's an old wheel but has served me very well. So after much debating, I figure I can stop into the LBS and still get in a decent ride before the sun goes down. It's about noon when I started to go for my ride and discovered the broken spoke. Get to the LBS, they fix the spoke, plus replace a small plastic piece on my rear brake assembly. I leave the car there since the bike path is about 1/4 mile away.

It's now about 1PM. I quickly find out that the bike paths are almost impassible. The ruts and places people have walked are impossible to ride on, much less control the front wheel. And the pristine snow is so deep my feet are going under the snow with each rotation. So I'm back to the car within 15 minutes.

I go home to swap out with my road bike. But first I map out a decent looking route near my home. I do most of my riding on the bike trails, so I've never mapped this out before. It's about 2:00 or 2:15 by the time I start this ride. I don't even get 0.4 miles from my house when PLING, a spoke on the front wheel breaks. ARRGGGGH.

So, I load that bike into the car along with an old rear wheel that came with the bike (one that I almost destroyed). I figure they can maybe turn that into a backup front wheel. At this point, I've pretty much given up on riding today. I get there and they proceed to replace the spoke. They tell me the old rear wheel is a POS and that I should forget about the rim, it's not worth using and the hub is a no-name cheapo. I donate it to them.

I get back home around 3:30 and figure "what the hey" and get dressed again to ride. I finally get out on the road. The route I thought would be 20 miles, was really just 14 and it was super hilly. Wheels hold up and I get in about 15 miles total for the day before 5 PM (the sun usually sets about 5:30 at this time of year).

At the very least, I did discover some pretty scenery on that ride and some beautiful houses. Plus, I found that the roads around here aren't as "bike unfriendly" as I thought. I'm going to expand the route tomorrow. I was shooting for 80 miles this weekend, so I've got some serious mileage to do tomorrow if I want to get that in. I think I'll be happy with about 40 or 45.

I couldn't believe how frustrated I was after that second spoke broke. I just wanted to toss the bike... heh. Glad I didn't.

Hopefully tomorrow goes better.

Anyone one else have a frustation story?

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Old 02-08-03, 07:35 PM   #2
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Drive 1 1/2 hours to the trail to only realize the sidi's are still sitting at home...
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Old 02-08-03, 08:05 PM   #3
Duct tape won't fix that
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At least you got to ride despite the frustration....I had to work today...yuk.
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Old 02-09-03, 07:08 PM   #4
riding a Pinarello Prince
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Originally posted by P. B. Walker
I got so frustrated today I almost felt like throwing my bike into a ditch.

throwing my bike on a ditch would be the last thing I would be doing even if the moon will fell on me I would not even think about that
"Racso", the well oiled machine;)
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Old 02-10-03, 01:45 AM   #5
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hi P B Walker,

Old spokes are always a problem during cold conditions.

Older spokes tend to become less in strength with usage and the cold might increase the brittleness to aid the breaking up.

Perhaps a plastic wheel frame support instead of spokes might be more useful in the cold conditions(BTW in my city its 92f during day and 65-70f during nights and we call it winter :-)).

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Old 02-10-03, 01:35 PM   #6
Jubalayo Unogwaja!
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Throwing a bike around reminds me when Bjarne Riis in TDF a few years back had a problem in a time trial I think around Disneyland Paris? Something went wrong and he went totally ape and threw his bike around. He vented so much venom and spit I swear he nearly died from a burst heart. I lost quite a bit of respect for him after that.
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