You gotta master the basics

I was looking forward to a bit warmer temps this morning, and got that… maybe just a degree or two, but in the right direction! Sure, we had a bit of ice & wheel-slipping on the final Kings hairpin, but it actually felt nice & comfy up on Skyline. And I’m sure it must have been really nice on west Old LaHonda but we never got there. Why? Because we (myself, Kevin, Nigel, Mark, John & Todd) got to Sky Londa and realized we were missing someone. The other Kevin. The guy who flies jets (as opposed to my son Kevin, who rides uphill as if he’s jet-powered). The guy who does the walk-around of his plane before taking it up into the sky, but apparently has a bit of trouble fixing flat tires. We never found that out until later; when he didn’t show up after a few minutes, we retraced the route backward (which meant riding north on Skyline, the “ugly” direction), but no sign of him. After getting home I got a text from him; apparently after replacing his tube at the top of Kings, the tire blew off the rim, leaving him stranded. Why he didn’t yell to one of us I don’t know, but guess he was close enough to home (he lives up there) that he was able to walk back. Guess I’m going to have to teach another tire repair class, but this time to the guys I ride with!

One thought on “You gotta master the basics

  1. Yeah, those basic mechanical skills are truly useful!

    I was ‘demo-ing’ a mountain bike yesterday around the corner here in Belmont at Waterdog Park. The new mountain bikes have 10 speed chains on them. And guess what, they can break! (My current ancient bike has 7 speeds–never broke a chain on that in the 10,000 or so miles I have on it.)

    No problem, I had a multi-tool with a chain tool on it. I’ve used a chain tool once or twice…a long time ago. The key, I think, is to: A) have a new pin handy, or B) don’t drive the old pin completely out the other side. Didn’t have A, and didn’t accomplish B, unfortunately. Tried for 15 or 20 minutes to get the pin in place to drive it back in once I took out the bent link, but couldn’t manage it by the side of the road, with my tiny unwieldy multi-tool and my large fingers.

    Luckily a nice couple stopped to help. The woman was a ‘chain whisperer’ of some sort and managed to get it in after about only 10 minutes of fiddling. She also had a quick link in her Camelback, just in case. Gotta get me some of those!

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