Thursday, February 24, 2011

There's good days and then...- February 24, 2011

What a fun and varied week.  I’ve had beautiful rides and wrecked bikes.
Sunday, in an attempt to help Cameron burn off some of his energy; we decided to ride and meet Trisha.  It wasn’t a long ride, about 8 miles, and was a nice day, if a bit windy and cool.  We got the bike ready, layered the boy in clothes, gloves and a hat before hitting the trail.  Even though we were riding into the wind, we made good time and from past experience I kept checking to make sure Cameron was ok.  He assured me that he was in between a steady stream of 5 year old monologue.
About three-fourths of the way there he asked if we could turn around because he was cold.  He wasn’t chilled so much as popsicle like.  With only a couple of miles to go and most of it downhill I made the decision to get to our destination instead.  Ten minutes later, I lifted a shivering boy into a cozy warm van, that immediately launched into 5 year old monologue of being cold and riding a bike.  No more rides for young boys until it’s at least 65 out.
Monday was a holiday and I had much fun fixing house items.  Tuesday was GREAT!  It was one of those days when you appreciate riding even more than normal.  I had clear skies, light winds and well behaving traffic.  I took a short cut on a pedestrian only bridge that crosses at the top of the lake.  I saw some bird with a giant wing span; closer up I realized it was a big bald eagle, coasting on the updrafts.  As I was watching him/her, they dove towards the lake and came away with a fish in their talons, all 50 feet from where I was riding.  AWESOME!
My ride home was great as well, a nice tailwind, not overly cold, light snow falling but not sticking.  The air was crisp without stinging.  The traffic was light.  Basically a perfect winter ride, a Norman Rockwell picture.  Then came Wednesday.
It was raining/sleeting, which in of itself isn’t a huge issue, but a headwind at 10-15mph that is cold and driving the rain/sleet sucks in ways I cannot begin to describe.  That plus the wind was cold and oh did I mention, the wind was cold…and it was a headwind.  I have mentioned my hatred of riding into headwinds, especially on a fixed gear, where every flat feels like it’s uphill and uphill is worse: but I thought I would mention it again, I hate headwinds.  That was the good part of my ride.
On the way home, I expected to have another nice ride in the snow like the day before.  Riding past long lines of cars in the quiet that snow can bring.  And I did.  For about ten minutes.  As I was dropping down one of the first hills on my way home, with a nice tailwind and no snow sticking on the ground yet, I heard/felt a *crack* somewhere on my bike about the same time that my front wheel and handlebars seemed to want to move independent of each other.  After an exhilarating moment while figured out how to stop without having something else break and before I hit any big ruts (really trying to avoid hitting the pavement at 25+mph).
Once stopped, the giant gaping crack on the head tube indicated what the problem might be.  What a weird place to break.  It wasn’t a chainstay, or fork or at the bottom bracket, it was at a point that is heavily reinforced with very little strain.  Anyhow, long story short, Trisha fought traffic, picked me and after a quick check with my LBS, I determined that it isn’t worth fixing. *sniff*
Goodbye Master Fixed.  Your parts will be transferred to Little Red for the remainder of the winter.
Of course on the upside of things, I picked up the Ibis on my way home last night.  I will be curious to see how Little Red like being a fixed gear.

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