Thursday, June 15, 2006

Things I learned today

Aside from the fact it's probably not a good idea to ride along taking pictures on the bike when there are cars whizzing past you at 60 miles per hour. . . .


Today I learned that if you happen to look down when you're riding all alone down a rural backroad and the two chainrings aren't running parallel when they turn, it's a very, very, very, very bad thing.

I also learned there's no cell phone coverage on said rural backroad, so if I am in trouble, I can't get through to our home phone anyway or let our babysitter know I'm going to be late. I'm on my own.

I think I already knew that it's definitely not supposed to look like this:


Everything came clear when I stopped and got off the bike to take a look. Of the five bolts that hold the two chainrings together, three were completely missing. The penultimate one fell off just as I was dismounting, and the two rings fell apart held together by only one bolt. As I was sitting on the side of the road, I worked hard to try to snap the two rings back together by hand and fit in the one bolt, but they just wouldn't go together at all, not even enough to limp back home. So I was totally stranded and had a 9-mile walk in bike shoes to look forward to if somebody didn't pick me up.

I have no idea when the bolts fell out - during my triathlon? I didn't really inspect the bike after that, just filled the tires and hit the road today. I guess it's a good thing no more than three fell out during my triathlon!!!

I also learned that a bike shop tuneup (by the Felt dealer that originally assembled this bike) and two separate pre-triathlon bike inspections in the last two months won't necessarily catch major problems. Double-check everything.

I also learned the name and number of a very nice contractor who lives a few blocks away from us and who was kind enough to pick up me and my bike and give us a lift home, and will drop off his portfolio soon for when we start thinking about putting on an addition.

23 comments:

triathlonmom said...

Nancy, tomorrow before my ride i'm definately going to check my chain rings! Who knew?
The Co2 thing wasn't so bad. Have you ever had to tell a teamate that their helmet was on backwards?....without laughing?

nancytoby said...

I obviously didn't know!!! Live and learn, eh?

I might have a hard time with the bike helmet thing. With a straight face, at least.

Steven said...

Holy crap. Poor buttercup.

That is a scary picture. I'm going home tonight and check over the Plasma - pronto!

Cliff said...

That's a scary picture....eekk..i am glad u are ok.. Thanks for reminding us to check our bikes before every ride.

Bolder said...

that is crazy.

Iron Pol said...

Well, one more thing for me to check. Especially since I'm riding the same bike.

But I can't relate to a 9-mile hike in bike shoes. A 7-mile run, maybe. A 6 mile walk, perhaps. But never in the shoes. I've always gone barefoot.

That chainring thing would irk me. What did they check on the tune-up? I would think a quick check of fastener tightness might be a part of any good maintenance.

nancytoby said...

Actually, what I think I might do in that circumstance is pull out the insoles and put them inside my socks and try walking that way, since my feet aren't tough enough to walk barefoot very long on hot asphalt. But fortunately people are pretty nice in this area and I was fairly confident someone would pick me up sooner or later!

Iron Pol said...

Just a quick question about your race report. You mentioned "lubing your toes." ???? Is that to help get the socks onto wet feet? If so, what did you use? I had a bear getting socks on during my first race.

nancytoby said...

No, it's to prevent hotspots on the bike leg, and mostly to prevent blisters later during the run. I use a squeeze-tube of baby oil gel and just take a second to slather them before putting socks on.

I just turn down the tops of my socks beforehand - maybe even pull them on to stretch them out a little and pull down the tops, then pull them off?

Eric said...

I'm cleaning my bike tomorrow so I will check my chainrings as well.

Is your chain supposed to be red or is that, GASP, rust?

nancytoby said...

It's a red Wipperman Connex chain. Red makes it fast!!!! :-)

Flo said...

Wow, that is scary. Who knew???? Thanks for the info. I'll check my bike tonight.

William said...

Hmmm, couldn't it be ridden in the small chain ring only?


I tried to turn my MTBike in into a single speed when my deraileur snapped but the hyper glide on the rear cog promoted the chain to fall down to the frame and then off the cog. Dang. 5k run with bike in race. Shoes were the recessed SPD's though, so easy.

nancytoby said...

Nope. Both chainrings are completely loose, held together only by that one remaining bolt.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

wow! OK, thanks for learning that one on my behalf - and posting it in the "manual."

jkrunning--Just Keep Running said...

I'm so glad you didn't have to walk all the way home.

Habeela said...

Scary crazy bike ride!

runr53 said...

Um... I don't think it was meant to be like that! I'm so glad you are alright! Run Good!

Mojo said...

Wow, that looks bad. Poor Buttercup. So what exactly would have taken place if you didn't notice that the bolts were missing? Would your entire cranck fall off?

I'm glad you didn't have to walk home. Were you sticking your thumb in the air like a true hitchhiker?

Lynne said...

I am giving my bike a good look before heading out Saturday morning... How do bolts just fall off???? I am SHOCKED that a tune up wouldn't catch this!! All that money for nothing... ??? Glad you didn't have to walk...

nancytoby said...

I think I would have just been air-pedaling - hopefully the chainring wouldn't go sideways into my leg, but I suppose that was possible. She's going in to the bike hospital today!!

Tammy said...

Wow... I've never seen that happen before! You been riding some rough roads?? A tune-up certainly SHOULD have found that... they are supposed to safety check every single nut & bolt. Glad you are ok.

Veeg said...

Scary! I'm glad that you noticed in time before something horrible befell Buttercup, or you!