Doing it all the hard way...

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Let’s get shallow

Summer is dead.  July and August are gone. Fall is upon us.  Don’t waste your time looking back. Tis the season of football, flannel, embrocation and shoe covers.

At least for now I will refrain from sharing my overly cerebral epistles regarding family, humanity, politics and the environment.  I shall, at least for now, return to the trivial bullshit of training stories, ride reports and equipment reviews.  

Some exciting times at the office (and when was the last time I said that?) dictated that my bike commute be on Thursday this week. 

I pulled my hamstring ten days ago and have been taking it uncomfortably easy since then.  I didn’t plan to push it on my bike commute, but I figured I wouldn’t be able to help myself and would, one way or another, get a good idea of the status of my hamstring.

El Jefe’ had called a last minute cross practice this past Sunday. The rain was heavy and ironically it made our spirits light.   I took it easy on my hamstring. It was tender and I treated it as such thus I didn’t have any issues.  I gave it some more rest this week.

The alarm called my bluff and it was time to ride or hide.  I checked the outside temperature. Fifty one degrees just as expected.  It was dark and wet outside. I was excited to ride.

After finding my weather appropriate clothing and getting my electronics engaged I got underway.  For as free spirited as riding a bike should be- when you complicate it with four lights, a heart rate monitor, a GPS device and a speed and cadence sensor not to mention the phone in your handlebar bag; any argument about the simplicity of riding a bike gets complicated.

Soon I was pedaling along in the darkness. The smell of wet pavement and the twinkling of the stars made me smile.  The streets were deserted.  No complaints from my hamstring. Yet.

On a short rise I got out of the saddle and my chain seemed to skip for a second.  As I kept going, the skipping got worse.  Using my shifters I worked the chain back and forth on the rear cassette trying to find a happy spot.  The clunking would stop for a bit only to return a couple minutes later.

Finally I stopped and tried to figure out what was wrong. I wiggled the cassette. It was loose.  With uncharacteristic speed I made the correct decision. I pointed my bike back toward home and limped back.  I arrived and put the bike in the garage.  I managed to resist the strong temptation to pull off the wheel and determine what was wrong.  

After getting home and pulling everything apart I would say my freehub is shredded. When aluminum and steel fight, steel wins. Actually steel doesn't really win, but aluminum finishes last.  There were no pictures on the web that compared to how torn up my freehub is right now.

I got cleaned up and drove into work. I was bummed I wasn’t able to get in a full commute.  I was happy my hammy seems to be either recovered or at least on the path.  


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