Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I wrote a post about how I don't write enough and then promptly wrote nothing for a few days. I am truly a hypocrite. I did some stuff, though, and it was mostly pretty great. It was also rough on my bikes.
Last Friday, I figured how to remove a crown race with a pocket knife and reinstall it with a vacuum cleaner tube. Take that Sheldon Brown! Drunk on my mechanical prowess, I replaced my chain because it was bent in several places (a problem I didn't know could happen to chains). So, I put my bike in the trunk, stopped at Central Wheel for a new chain and watered my parents' plants on my way to Nassahegon. Of course, replacing the chain does great things like inform you that your cassette is so worn out that you can't pedal up any inclines. I wasn't going to let this ruin my day. So, I rooted around in my parents' garage looking for some old shoes, because I had only worn cycling shoes. I found a pair of New Balances from my youth that had no holes in the bottom, but left my right big toe rather exposed.
I went over to the Avon Land Trust's trail on Nod Road. I found an illegal tree stand, which I took down. I followed this deer trail for awhile and then ended up climbing this rather exposed cliff. It was probably kind of stupid for me to do that. Eventually, I found this big black snake. I texted Johanna a picture of it and she got mad at me.
On Saturday, I went to the CTNEMBA trail school thing. It had good sandwiches. I also learned how to deal with grade vs. the fall line and grade reversal so that your trail doesn't become an eroded mess. I learned that like no trails around here are properly built. After the classroom portion, we went to Huntington State Park and did some benching. When done, I thought we were going to go for a bike ride. Apparently, no one wanted to go for a ride besides me. So, armed with the map provided at the gate (the fancy state parks in Fairfield County have maps!) and advice from Mark I rode around for about 45 minutes before smacking my derailleur on a rock and bending the hanger. I bent it out of the spokes and limped out of the woods. They got a lot of rocks there.
I also have come to possess a Schwinn Le Tour with a strange fork crown that was in the dump for awhile and then in Peter's basement for awhile. Johanna even approves of it. Also, I realized on its maiden ride that the Schrader tube I had with me was incompatible with the pump (no reversible chuck). Living on the edge!