06 June 2011

Rain and Redemption

Ride #80
Monday, June 6th

Just shy of 10 miles in soggy boggy froggy Roseville

My sweetie and I tried to bike part of this trail a month ago or so and gave up. I blame the donuts.

So today I went out and did it up proper, starting at the staging area for the benefit rides next Sunday. I'm a ride leader for the short easy ride, so I figured I'd better figure it out before I played Pied Piper on Sunday.
I did take an unnecessary ride up to Orvietto, but eventually realized that Google Maps calls ALL the trail Miner's Ravine, when the part that parallels Stone something is actually (on the ground, anyway) called False Ravine trail.
I suppose I could submit a correction.
I'd rather whinge.

I raced a squirrel, rang my bell, did plenty of shifting, and generally had a good time. The skies were dark and threatening, the asphalt was nice and damp, there were puddles to zip through and burbling creeks to admire.
Yes, it is June in California, but no-one told the weather gods that. It only actually rained when I was in the car.

This is a cute little trail with many small rises. It is generally uphill from Linda so the return trip was generally downhill. There were some dog walkers and joggers, and a few other cyclists.

Mechanically, everything was splendid. I was relieved, since last week I had taken off the chain, cleaned everything, and reassembled it. I figured I was doing OK since there were no parts left over. I have this history of taking things apart and failing utterly to get them together again (take that, infinitive!).
I had decided to change to a dry wax lubricant. I was getting really tired of grease tattoos on everything. I picked T-9 from the many options available. I was half expecting the shifting to be noisy or clunky with this lube but it was fine.

If you even need to clean a chain tube out, just find a trombone player (I am one in a houseful of them), borrow the cleaning rod, cut some "green meany" scrub pads in strips, locate a bucket and some Simple Green cleaner and it get busy! Stuff a strip of green meanie in the slot in the cleaning rod and start swabbing, dosing the scrubber with Simple Green and rinsing in the bucket as necessary.

To do a really good job of cleaning the cassette and chainring, I should have disassembled them. But I have neither the tools nor the inclination to do so, so I just applied liberal amounts of orange bicycle solvent (no, it does not dissolve orange bicycles or I'd be in a heap of trouble) and 'flossed' in between the rings as best I could. I also sacrificed an old fingernail brush to the cause.

I also declined to remove the derailluer, cleaning that and its rollers in place. You would not believe the globs of black glop that were stuck in there. Some were the size of small dogs! Really really small subminiature dogs. Ok. the size of mouse skulls? I know, the size of a dime. Which considering there is not that much space in between the rollers is quite a bit. I am interested to see how the wax lube does. Theoretically, it should not pick up nearly the dirt that the old lube did.

I toyed with the idea of taking the chain to the shop to have them clean it, but I rocked it old-school instead with mineral spirits and a couple of glass jars. Yes, I wore rubber gloves. And worked outside. And poured the used spirits into an appropriately labeled tin for future disposal at the hazardous waste place.

It looks like typical June weather ahead, so a ride or two before Sunday's benefit ride.

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