Category Archives: Tues/Thurs 7:45am ride

Endless ramblings regarding the every Tuesday & Thursday-morning bike ride, leaving Olive Hill & Canada Road at 7:45am, rain or shine

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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They circle like vultures!

Sometimes you think you’re feeling pretty good, only to find that everyone else is feeling pretty good-er than you, and somehow you’re version of pretty good just doesn’t make you feel like it should. This morning was one of those times. It’s not as if I felt like I was going to set the world on fire, but I’ve started to notice some real improvement again on the climbs, and the Thursday-morning group consisting of Kevin (my son, not the pilot), Karl, Karen & Eric… well that’s not normally a group that exhibits excessive testosterone effects. For the most part, a civilized group. Thus it was a bit disconcerting when I began getting seriously distanced in the lower half of the climb through Huddart Park to Kings, and by the time I made it to the exit onto Kings, they had begun circling around the top, waiting for me. Ouch!

After the regroup I held on for a short bit and then watched them gradually ride away. How do they do that? Eventually they shelled Kevin off the back, and somehow I managed to catch and pass him just before the top. From there it was just hanging onto wheels and wishing my bike was working better; apparently, even DuraAce Di2 has its limits, and at just over 35,000 miles, mine was displaying those limits, refusing to shift into smaller rear cogs (higher gears). It would sporadically decide to shift, but only after hitting the lever over and over and over and over, and even then, only when it decided it wanted to. Well, my current Madone only needs to last a month or two more before it gets replaced with the latest & greatest, probably the new model seen at the Dauphine (the last major pre-Tour de France bike race).

Interesting thing up on Skyline. A group of Asian tourists in a large white van asked us if we knew where a state park was. They didn’t know which. Or where there was an office that could tell them. I’m thinking they were under the belief the United States has a local tourism office set up in each town, like they do in many foreign countries. Sadly, far as I know, that’s not the case. We did our best to try and assist them, but really couldn’t connect. We made another unscheduled stop at Sky Londa for Kevin, who was suffering a bit from a “bad peach” epsisode (those who are familiar with Greg LeMond’s “bad peach” story will understand the meaning). Fortunately not as severe as Greg’s; Kevin was able to keep everything “internal” until he could make it to the bathroom.

West Old LaHonda was its normal awesome self, with great views of the coastal fog staying right where it ought to (at the coast!). By this point Kevin had fully recovered and ditched me, heading up to the main group and eventually took the sprint to Skyline, which made him quite happy. He’s coming back.

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