Maintenance break - Winterlude 2020 - CycleBlaze

November 22, 2020 to November 23, 2020

Maintenance break

Lest folks think we slipped off the shoulder of the road into a lagoon and drowned in a slurry of goose guano, we should share what we’ve been up to for the past two days.  

Rachael’s been up to her normal regimen, of course: on Sunday, she biked back west to Hamilton City and south on a solo out and back (42 miles, natch) for another look at the cranes.  She reported back that the pair we saw so close beside the road the day before looked like they were still planted in the same place.

And yesterday, she lost track of her mileage and went 45 miles on an out and back southwest through the rice fields to the end of Aguas Frias Road.  She came back weary from the extra three miles, a bit sore from miles of chip seal, but elated at another pass beneath vast, swirling clouds of waterfowl. 

Video sound track: Don’t Ever Leave Me, by Keith Jarrett

So, another 87 miles for the ‘tour’.  We’re not counting them though, because this is a Team Anderson journal, and the other half of the team rode - let me check my notes here to be sure - oh, that’s right.  Zero miles.

I took a rare two day break from cycling - at least, rare for when the weather is so fine - because my bike is in need of maintenance.  It hasn’t had any to speak of since before we left for Croatia back in August, four months and 2,000 miles ago.  The miles and abuse are taking their toll, and front brake in particular is getting much less responsive, if not borderline unsafe.  It made me just a bit anxious biking down from Paradise last week, so obviously it’s time to get into more capable hands than mine.  Especially since we anticipate some high profile riding in quite remote country in the coming weeks.

It’s hard to take the bike in when the weather is as fine as this, but Sunday is a good a day as any.  I need a break anyway because I’ve built up a collection of minor old-guy aches and pains that would appreciate a day off.   I drive the bike down to the LBS as soon as it opens, and they tell me that with luck they’ll have it back by the end of the day - otherwise, first thing Monday.  I spend the rest of the day doing generally nothing - reading a mystery, reading blogs, reading the news, plotting out day rides.

When I check in at the end of the day, things haven’t gone as well as hoped.  The bike isn’t ready yet, and they’ve pushed out their estimate to about 1 PM the next day.  Too late for any kind of ride, so Monday morning Rachael takes off on her own on that 45 miler down Aguas Frias Road.  I wait around the apartment until around noon reading some more, and then enjoy a leisurely walk downtown through Bidwell Park to the bike store.

I arrive right at one, and hear frustrating news.  They’ve run into issues that are holding them up, but it should be ready in an hour and a half.  I walk around the corner, grab a cup of coffee, and hang out at an outside table in the sun waiting for a call.

No call.  Finally, at 3:30, I check back in and talk to the mechanic.  The bike is ready, except for one thing - he can’t adjust the back brake correctly (which actually was functioning fine when I took it in - it was the front brake I was worried about).  As it turns out, he’s what I’d say is an apprentice mechanic and is more or less winging it trying to adjust my Shimano disc brakes.  He says he’s never worked on brakes quite like this, and isn’t sure what the problem is.  He correctly notes that I obviously love my bike and would prefer that he doesn’t break the brakes, so he’s giving up before he fixes things worse.  He’s spoken on the phone to the lead mechanic, off duty today unfortunately, but he’ll be in first thing Tuesday morning and will work on them as his top priority.

So, no riding today either.  Hopefully tomorrow??  At least though I had another lovely walk through Bidwell Park, and got to see a pair of acorn woodpeckers up close, doing that special thing they do.  

The drill team.
Heart 6 Comment 4
Patrick O'HaraI was just going to say the same thing.....
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltI couldn’t believe this. I heard the hammering but couldn’t spot them. I kept looking up, but they were down at my level, about 20 feet from me.
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1 month ago
Bill ShaneyfeltI really like how the one is giving you the stink eye...
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1 month ago

Today's ride: 42 miles (68 km)
Total: 190 miles (306 km)

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Jen GrumbyGreat video of the birds!
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1 month ago
Kelly IniguezI so relate to your maintenance woes! We thought ourselves so clever in buying planes tickets home from Tucson. Downside is the bikes stay there for three weeks.

My extra bike has handlebars so loose that it is unsafe to ride. This has been a long term issue that several shops have said they are fine. If the bars move when I lean it against the wall, I don’t think they are tight enough!

I have an appointment for it at a recumbent specialty shop in Denver on Friday. I keep telling myself I wouldn’t ride anyway because it’s too cold.

But I feel odd with no bike ready to ride. I feel
Your pain!
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1 month ago