Post Script - Crosswinds - CycleBlaze

Post Script

For the record, the total mileage I logged on this trip, including miles ridden in towns in the running of errands and such was 1,235 miles.

The issues I had with the bike on days 22 and 23 were due to my neglect to use thread locker on critical fasteners associated with the Bafang motor unit.  Those worked loose and that is when strange noises started and things began acting weird.  Also, the Katy Trail is a very dusty and hostile environment for chains.  By the time I had completed the round trip of the trail, the wax based chain lube applied by the guys at Revolution Cycles in Washington, MO, had been worn off.  However, on the last two days of my trip, the wind was making so much noise in my ears, I had a difficult time hearing the chain in the first place.  Having done first a 98 mile ride on day 22 followed by an 80 mile ride on day 23 after the above fasteners in question started working loose is a testament to what is possible even without non-thread locked bolts.  It was also a humbling reminder to me to always remember:  

Apply thread locker to all fasteners on a bicycle prior to assembly and to check all threaded fasteners to make sure they are tight before starting on a trip.  Even retired toolmaker/machinists get reminded that they, too, make mistakes.

The two critical bolts of the clamp-on bottom bracket were 1/4-20 (SAE) socket head cap screw fasteners, and I did not have any SAE hex wrenches with me.  Any other day but Sunday and it would not have been a problem, because most of the small towns I rode thru had auto parts stores of one kind or another where hex key wrenches can be purchased.  Of course, that is when Senor Murphy (of Murphy's Law) decided to show up and start his mischief.  I had installed the Bafang unit in March and had put more than 2,000 miles on it before starting my trip.  In Paola, there was a Wal Mart store across the street from the motel.  So, the morning of the 23 day of the trip, I walked over, visited the automotive section of the store and found/purchased a very nice SAE set of hex key wrenches.  Then it was just a matter of aligning the clamp-on bottom bracket to where it looked correct and tightening down the bolts and I was back in business. 

After renting the U-Haul truck on what was Day 24, I again was dealing with strong crosswinds, to the point I was not comfortable driving the (weight-wise) empty truck faster than 55 mph.  Getting bumped around on the road by the wind is much easier when driving a truck than getting bumped around on the road on a loaded touring bike.  About 3/4 of the way on the drive home, I ran up under the rain, and it was a regular toad-strangler.  30 mph was about all it was safe to drive for about 15 minutes.  About an hour later, I drove under more rain, but it was more of a steady, soaking rain.  This morning when I looked outside my front door, it had started raining again.  Having "hidden" from the rain several times on this trip, calling it to a conclusion when I did was the correct choice. 

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Comment on this entry Comment 1
Jeanna & Kerry SmithHey Paul,
Congratulations on your trip - I really enjoyed your journal as it brought back a lot of memories. We have ridden the KATY twice - a round trip a few years back on our singles and then a one way E-to-W in 2018 on our Seavo.

On another topic, I'm ordering a Phoenix for a trip from FL to WA and would like to pick your brain about some options. I neglected to get your email address last year, so if you wouldn't mind, would you send me an email so I can write to you about it?

Thanks
Kerry (and Jeanna) Smith
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5 months ago