02 November 2013

Slice 'n' Dice

#301 / #96

Red Leader and I rode down from William B Pond park to Alphabent today, where Other Bike Dude (not Bike Dude) took an indifferently sharp knife to Red Leader's chain tube.

This was on purpose and with our blessings. Halloween is over, so put that zombie-killing thing away!

Red Leader has had his Gekko for about a year and a half, and (I suspect) contrary to the manufacturer's expectations, the Gekko is folded all the time, except when RL's riding it. So the little bit of flexi-tube that lets the chain go through its contortions when folding/unfolding has spent nearly all its life folded into a bend, and the bend - kink, if you will - is very reluctant to go away, making the chain drag as it goes through that section of the tube.

Red Leader had the option of a new piece of flexi-tube that would eventually get just as kinked as this one was, or of cutting away the kinked section and seeing what happens down the road. He opted for surgery, with Other Bike Dude cutting out just the kinked section of the flexi-tube.

The tube to the front of the excised section can drift up and down the chain a little bit now, but it does stay clear of the front derailler. The other side is also anchored. I doubt the little bit of flexi-tube will be missed.

Red Leader manages to spin his boom more often than most, so he straightens it and tightens it up every couple of months. Over time, it appears that his boom has also migrated to a much shorter position. OBD pulled it out more than an inch. Now Red Leader has much more power to his pedals, as we proved on the way back from the shop, bumping our average speed from 12.0 on the way to the shop, to 12.4 overall by the end of the ride.
Normally, we are slower on the return. We were 8/10s of a mile faster (he sets the pace - I just follow along). Whooo! This is fun!

I did the ride out and 1/2 the ride back in my middle chain ring - just to use those other gear combos a bit. The last half of the ride, I gave up and used the big ring (my usual on this ride) since the faster cadence at Red Leader's new speed was just a bit much for my little/middle combo.

In other news, the patch I put on Red Leader's tube didn't hold so we got to change his rear tube out AGAIN this morning.


Tuesday, I ride my age (51) for my birthday. What better present than a long bike ride?

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