07 July 2013

Together, again

#272 / #79

Red Leader and I rolled out around 9:30am (early for him, late for me) for a lovely ride on the American River Trail

It was crowded today with bikers and walkers, as crowded as I would have expected it before the speedlimit crackdown of a few weeks ago. There were some fast-moving clumps of riders, generally in matching gear, as well as the usual assortment of 2-wheeled recumbents (3 or 4) and one other trike. 

I didn't see a single ranger on our 12 mile ride.

I got to show off my chain-breaking skills when Red Leader bent a link on his chain, and we had half a dozen "need help?" from passersby as we were repairing it. I am now out of master links so I need to pick up three more pairs. I started out with three pair almost 3 years ago.

The clearance in a chain tube is not much more than the width of an untroubled chain, so when a link gets kinked, or bent, or broken, the chain will hang up in the tube. Now, I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than I could tell you more, but I can tell you that if you have such a link, generally the chain will loop down below your boom, and sometimes work itself right off any chain ring in front, as the chain does not want to feed through the return tube. Which is what happened to Red Leader today.

And when the chain did its loopy thing, the chain tube dropped low enough that it scooped up a lot of dirt (Red Leader had pulled off the pavement at this point). So I'd advise not filling up your chain tubes with dirt. It makes it even harder to get the chain to move through the tube.

RL lifted the trike so the rear wheel cleared the ground, and I sat and turned the pedals forward, trying to get the chain to move. Then we figured out that I should be turning it backwards, since forwards was just jamming dirt further into the tubes. A lot of dirt came out when we reversed directions, as well as the now thoroughly distressed and nearly falling apart link. 

I carry a large, heavy chain tool because I know how to use it and I like to stick with what I know during something mildly stressful like trail-side repairs. I popped the pin out, and fished around in my bag for the master links, got them to snap together after only two tries, and we carefully ran the chain around the trike once to look for any more unhappy links.

Then back on the trail and to our starting point.

I use a couple of 35mm film cans to hold things like master links, the cotter pins I use for keeping slack in the chain when I need to work on a link, spare cleats, random screws and other little items. Any small container would do. 

I also have 3 tubes, a patch kit, tire levers and a kool stop bead jack (I have trouble getting the tire over the rim sometimes), a pair of pliers, a spoke wrench, a pocket knife, some short pieces of spare chain, and a copy of all the torque specifications for my trike. I keep all that in an old, single-pocket waist pack. 

The fanny pack and my pump (which is too long to fit in the fanny pack) ride in a small canvas bag strapped to the side of my rear rack. The bag zips open, so I can just grab the pack and start flinging tools around. If I'm using both large panniers, I can take the pack and pump and put them in my trunk bag.   

Well, didn't I go on and on today.

No comments:

Post a Comment