Houston, we have a problem (or two)

Roll call- Karen, Karl, George, Kevin, Kevin
Roll call- Karen, Karl, George, Kevin, Kevin

I thought I had my aging DuraAce Di2 electric shifting working again. Thought. After a few rides where it had become progressively balky at shifting the rear derailleur, I did some work on it at the shop yesterday, cleaning it up, and my ride home Monday night indicated that maybe it wanted to work OK. Sunday’s ride it had been off-and-on, and it pretty much had completely failed on my ride to work Monday morning. But I really had hope that I had a handle on it this morning. Nope. By the time I got to the top of Jefferson, still a mile or so from the start of the ride, it didn’t want to shift anymore. I was able to coax it into a middle rear gear after a lot of effort, giving me just two gears to play with, switching between the two front chainrings (front derailleur was working flawlessly).

Is it fun climbing Kings and not being able to shift? I approached Kings with a bit of curiosity, thinking maybe this would give me a chance to try a higher cadence in lower gears than normal, but it really didn’t work out that way. No matter what, I felt pretty uncomfortable. Eventually Kevin (pilot), Karl & Karen climbed away from me, while the other Kevin was, surprisingly, behind. I kept waiting for him to catch up and pass me, but it never happened. I finally waited for him near the archery range (half a mile from the top) to find out what was wrong; turns out he’s dealing with some kidney pain issues again, probably a small stone. I’m sure it was awesome out on West Old LaHonda, but I never found out, as Kevin needed to head back down 84 due to the pain. Darn; it was a really nice morning, and even though my bike was acting up, I was looking forward to it.

Flash-forward to 6pm or so, after most of the customers had cleared out (we had a really busy day!) and I decided to take a closer look at my shift levers and, what do you know, it turns out that the cable carrying the signals from the shift levers to the rear derailleur had dislodged itself a bit. After getting it properly set in place, it seems like everything’s working again. We’ll see how much more I can coax out of it; a couple days ago I figured 35,000 miles and it was done. Now? Who knows how far I can push it!

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