Doing it all the hard way...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Squeaks, Creaks and Clicks Oh My

 Riding in the Northwest year round means something is covering my ears the majority of the year. Although we are toasty now, I remember how naked I feel every year when spring comes and I leave on a ride without anything on my head but a helmet. When I have a beanie or earband under my helmet I don't notice the little clicks and creaks that come from nowhere. Perhaps to compensate for that; when the climate is fair I am hyper alert. Some recent sounds that have been identified revealed my heightened state of awareness.

Before France I noted a squeaking on steady climbs. It seemed to come from my front wheel. To make an embarrassing story shorter, it was my gloves squealing on my new bar tape.

Last week I noted a quiet click with each pedal revolution. I suspected my left pedal which I had recently torn down, lubed the internals, and put all back together. I unclipped and pedaled with just my right foot. The clicking persisted. I checked the chainring bolts when I got to work. All good there. On the way home on a quiet stretch I noted it sounded more like a soft scraping sound. The chain cleared everything, so I wasn't sure what was going on. When I got home I put it up on the stand and slowly turned the cranks. The crankarm brushed the cable cap that came out of the front derailleur. I bent the wire back and the sound was gone. I slapped the side of my head with the appropriate gesture.

On a quick ride the weekend I heard what seemed like my rim was rubbing against the brake pad. I stopped and spun my wheels one at a time. Nothing. I clipped in and rolled on. Voom......voom.......voom. I stopped. I had picked up some sticky stuff and that had picked up a patch of dirt. When the dirt made contact with the pavement there was a hint of a sound. I shook my head and rode on.

Sometimes you can listen too much. In a month I'll be riding with my headlight on and a beanie on my noggin in the morning. Although I am sad to see summer end, I won't be haunted by tiny sounds.

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