A Trip to the Bike Shop

Bridgestone MB-4 and Jamis Supernova racked and ready to go to the bike shop

Bridgestone MB-4 and Jamis Supernova racked and ready to go to the bike shop

Today, I’ve got present at traffic court to answer to a judge for the particulars of a citation a local policeman issued to me back in late August.  Proof of registration and financial responsibility may serve to keep me from having to pay a fine; that’s the outcome I’m hoping for in the matter.

Since I’ve had to schedule the time, I also plan to use the day to pick up the Miyata 610 from the bike shop, about 45 miles distant, where I left it last week to get the hubs serviced and whatever is bent near the back axle corrected – derailleur, hanger, I don’t know what.  The wheel’s been a bear to reinstall when I’ve removed it for cleaning, the last couple of times.  Furthermore, when riding on the middle ring, in front, and shifting while pedaling hard up a hill to the small front ring, the chain tends to bang down onto the smallest of the freewheel cogs at the back.  On steeper hills that I know I’m able to climb on the Miyata, I’ve lost headway and had to walk a couple of times.  It’s irritating.

Because my local bike mechanic (this town has no local bike shop) has had to go back to working nine-hour days with only two 15 minute breaks during the workday (that doesn’t sound legal, does it?), he hasn’t had the time, energy, and joie-de-vivre necessary to tackle the problems that arise when a 33 year-old bike gets ridden an hour or two daily on good to crummy pavement.

Yesterday, the bike shop called and told me the Miyata is ready for pickup – they were able to service the hubs, so the races were probably not blown, I think the term is.  Additionally, the caller said the shop was able make necessary adjustments to ensure proper shifting, this at no cost.  Good, yes?

Today, I will take them the Jamis Supernova for complete tune-up and Mavic hubs service (if that works, I won’t get a new wheelset for the bike for awhile), and the Bridgestone MB-4 to see about getting the headtube refaced and another Tange Levin headset installed if the one I installed cannot be salvaged.  I don’t hold out much hope for my installation.  Finally, I think I’ll see if they can install the little replacement dials for the shifters.

MB-4 and Supernova on the repair stand for examination

MB-4 and Supernova on the repair stand for examination

It’ll be at least a week before I get the bikes back and it’s been rainy the past four five days with not much prospect of drier weather for the next few days.  I will probably ride the Miyata in the wet, although the Jamis is the bike I’d hoped to subject to inclement weather.  Ordered some Tri-Flow last week on the advice of my mechanic, to replace the waxy chain cleaner/lubricant I’ve been using.  Perhaps that will offer better wet-condition protection to the Miyata’s moving parts.

Second Ride: Continental Tour Ride Tires

Continental-Tour-Ride-Front

Today I tested the new Continental Tour Ride tires on about 25 miles of good paved road, as well as on some gravel, grassy, and degraded tarmac roads and lanes.  This was a beautiful for day for a ride – overcast, light rain intermittently falling, wet roads, leaves beginning to accumulate in the streets, temperature in the low to middle 70’s.  My goals were to see whether or to what extent the tires would slow me down on the road, and to see how they, and the Jamis Supernova, held up on rougher paved and formerly paved surfaces.

I got up this morning and washed, then lubed the Jamis; added air to the tires inflating to the maximum pressure of 70 psi in the rear tire and between 65 to 70 psi in the front tire.  Although I added some air, the tires remained well-inflated since their installation Thursday.  Wearing mismatched kit, with a couple of water bottles, an expired Larabar lemon pound cake bar and an expired Clif caffeine Mocha pudding/gel/tube/thing, I set out.

This was probably not a fair test, because those execrable Mavic hubs spin so poorly the bike seems, during the first two or three miles, nearly unride-able.  After that, either I got used to having to pedal harder than I would have to using a wheelset in good order, or the hubs loosened up.  Still, I think they made me tired.  I stopped at picnic table at an elementary school to eat the Larabar, and read on the label it contains 3/4 cup of fruit, and peas.  In one of the neighborhoods, I stopped and talked to a retired physician of my acquaintance for about 45 minutes.  Getting an unexpected chance to visit with people I like is one of the benefits of a mid-morning Saturday ride.

24.9 Mile Continental Tour Ride Trial

My average speed, when I checked, during the paved portion of my ride, was down from last week’s 15.5 miles per hour riding the same bike with Continental Ultra Sport II tires, to about 14.65 mph.  After mixing in a variety of rough surfaces, by ride’s end, my average speed was a plodding 14.3 mph.  I look forward to riding on better hubs soon – I’ll be taking the Jamis in for a tune-up and hub-service early next week.  Then, I’ll be able to better assess the Continental Tour Ride tires vis-à-vis speed and rolling resistance.

Gravel-Road-Repair

The Tour Rides were sure-footed, to use a reviewer’s cliché, on slick wet pavement, slick fallen leaves on wet pavement.  Both the Jamis Supernova and the Continental Tour Ride tires handled predictably and well on grassy lanes, gravel roads, degraded tarmac, washed out tarmac, pounding uphill and down.  I balked at riding over a patch of gravel the chunks of which were a little larger than golf balls.  I’d been riding along at about 16 mph when I came to that pile of gravel; it was so close to the end of the road at the main highway, that I just turned around and pedaled back to find a different route to return to public thoroughfares.

I didn’t ride into any briar patches or through any slick, red mud today; that was Thursday’s project.  During today’s ride, I took no pictures in the neighborhoods – maybe next time I’ll prop the bike up in front of a vacant Stepford McMansion for your viewing pleasure.  During my ride, the drizzle and light rain became breezy overcast, and a lot of the water on the ground dried up.  On the way back to my starting point, I stopped at a coffee shop for a cup and a cookie.  I spent a while talking with the owners, then sat at a table out front and rested my flabby, middle-aged buttocks a bit before pedaling on.

Supernova-TracksideSoggy-Grass-Covered-Road

Damp-WoodsGrassy-Lane-Fallen-Limb

Straight-Road-Degraded-PavementGravel-Road

Foundation-in-the-WoodsBike-&-Trees

Coffee-BreakSmall-Town-Intersection