Tag Archives: commuting

Commuting Pedal Failures

One thing that’s quite nice about the new gig is that the office is in Kendall Square. Much, much, much better location-wise than Westford. It means that my commute is just about seven miles which is quite nice to do via bike. Also, if the weather’s bad or I feel lazy, I can take the bus to Alewife from right outside my house and then take the train in.

Unfortunately, I’ve now had two weird pedal failures in the past week. Last Thursday, I was leaving the office and clipped in. As I got about a block away, I noticed my foot moving weirdly on the pedal. As I pulled over to check it out, it became clear that the cleat was stuck in the pedal. After some investigation later, I realized that I lost one of the two screws holding the cleat into the plate in the shoe. It looks like the plate where the screw went in is actually pretty stripped. And in getting the cleat and shoe disengaged from the pedal, I essentially had to take the pedal apart so I decided to switch the pedals out for the plain SPDs instead of the slightly fancier SPDs that were on there.

Today, I was riding home and realized about halfway home that one of the pedals was coming unscrewed from the crank. I made it home without incident and re-installed the pedal without any noticeable problem, but I’m going to be keeping an eye on it over the next few days. Hopefully the crank isn’t stripped — it looked okay, but at this point, I’m a little cautious of it.

Maybe I should look at building a new commuter bike sooner rather than later :-) Although I really would like to get the Redline to last another year to year and a half.

The flat streak ends

All streaks must come to an end. Apparently mine with flats (or lack thereof) now has.

The story starts yesterday when I was on my way home. There was something a little funny looking, maybe glass, on the bike path and as I went over it I cringed. But made it home, checked over the tire, and didn’t find anything lodged within it. The thought did go through my head of “these tires are getting pretty old and probably need to be replaced”, but I figured it could wait.

This morning, I woke up to sunny skies and the temperature quickly rising. Got out of the house a little on the early side and headed towards class. Made it to Arlington Center and then I heard that sound that you never want to hear while biking…. “hisssssssssss”. Pulled off to the side of the path, and yep, the tube had a puncture and was flatting. Removed the tube and gave the tire a more extensive look over on the inside to see if there was anything protruding. Nothing to be seen. Thought again “yeah, definitely should change the tire”. Put in a new tube, aired it up and on my way

Made it about a mile and again…. “hissssssss”. Well, that was my spare tube and my one CO2 cartridge that I carry on the commuter. So at this point, not much I can do. I only carry one as there’s a bike shop roughly every mile along my commute so it’s not that big of a deal. But since I’m now going to be running late for class, I just walk up to Alewife and take the T from there to get to class half an hour late rather than early.

So, lessons for today…

  1. Maybe it’s worth sticking a second flat kit in my pannier and laptop bag
  2. When I start to think about changing tires, I really probably shouldn’t waste time
  3. Don’t try to be too early :-)

Hopefully the flats aren’t indicative of how the rest of my day is going to be.

Update: Annnnnddddd… the wordpress app for the iphone isn’t very smart about moving from local draft (on the phone) to draft on the server. So I got to rewrite this.

Leaden legs, weekend, etc

Last week was again a (relatively) light riding week between the storms that were rolling through the area as well as wanting to take part in the various SDM business trip activities. So I was pretty glad that the weather for the weekend looked pretty good. So woke up on Saturday morning and went out on the Quad ride. Although I was hanging just fine, my legs felt somewhat leaden. Figured it was mostly an effect of a light few weeks of riding and made it more of a point to spin rather than hammer in the big gear. Then, Kara and I headed down to her parents' as her dad's birthday was last week — ended up running a couple of errands and also having dinner before heading back home.

Yesterday, woke up and again headed out on the Quad ride. A group was planning to do Westford and Groton, so went out with them. Luckily, legs were feeling quite a bit better and so the longer ride felt less strenuous. Definitely think that things are “back” and so I'm looking forward to doing a race this weekend, although I need to decide if I'm going to head up to New Hampshire for the Bow Road Race or just do Wells Ave. Each has their upsides. Oh well, as long as I figure it out by the end of the week, I'm good. Then, I spent some time tidying up the house and just lazing about playing video games before settling in and trying to knock out the majority of the Systems Engineering homework which is due in the morning. Mostly succeeded, although I need to go over it and make sure it looks okay this evening.

Today is an in the office day and I biked in. Legs started out a little sluggish, but warmed up pretty quick. I think that the sluggishness might just have even been the whole “being on the heavy bike” after riding the nice bike all weekend and also adding to that, carrying in a bit more than I usually do in the pannier.

The day has been fairly productive, although some things haven't been where I've wanted them to be. But one by one getting some of the things taken care of for the Fedora 10 Alpha. For various reasons, the whole non-blocking freeze seems to not work so well. But so it goes. Also fixed up some kernel things for rawhide and have also been trying to make things work a bit nicer on a new piece of hardware. But more on that later.