02 September 2008

1/September/2008 - Good Intentions, Good Motivations, Bad Luck.

Everything was all ready for a ride at Sycamore Canyon. The bike was on the roof, the clothes were packed, the camelbak filled with water and tools and snacks. All I needed to do was put on some street clothes, grab my keys and hit the road.

This was a Dirt Treader's organized group ride that was scheduled to leave at 8. Since I didn't know the group, I wanted to be early to put the last minute touches on the video camera and personal music, and this and that. I didn't want to be the limiting factor in the group's departure. Amazingly enough, I was heading out the door at 7am ready to jump in the car and make the 25 minute commute to the trail head. As I exited the house I noticed that a spoke on my month old XTR rear wheel was broken with just a 10cm stub sticking out of the rim. I figured I could still ride it, and then I'd stop in at a bike shop and grab a few spokes.

As I drove down the street, I heard a slap, slap, slap sound coming from the rear passenger side. It sounded like I had a flat tire, but it didn't feel like it. I pulled over, got out and looked at the car tire which wasn't flat at all, but there was a screw embedded deeply into the tire. With a 3/4 cm head, I'll assume that the screw itself was probably quite long. So, there went the possibility of the group ride, at least for me.

I took the car to the tire dealer. Fortunately, the one I wanted to take it to was open. The guy said it would take about an hour. So, I grabbed a book and headed to the coffee shop in the building across the parking lot. After an hour, I headed back. As I rounded the corner the guy waved at me like he'd been looking for me all over the place and asked me where the special lug nut bit was to remove the locking lug nut. It hadn't dawned on either of us that the mechanic would need this. The office manager said he went to the coffee shop but didn't see me (I was sitting at the table right next to the door). Anyway, excuse me for thinking that threre is a reason these guys are changing tires. To me, the most logical place to keep the lug nut bit is in the tool bag that hold the lug nut wrench, jack, etc. I've asked several other people and they all say that's where they keep theirs. So, the hour turned into an hour and three-quarters. At least they don't charge for the service. (I guess they figure I'll go back there when I need new tires.)

At this point I figured I'd just go and get my spoke. I drove down to San Diego to Cal Coast Bicycles (along with a price-match for some new 26x2.35 UST tires). I bought 3 drive side and 3 left side or front spokes. At $8 each, it was a bit expensive. And, to top it all of, they didn't have a crucial part: the hub nuts (little flanged threaded nuts that the hub side of the spoke threads into.) These tiny little things apparently get lost when the spoke breaks.) At first I thought Black Mountain Bicycles would be a good place to go--they tend to have parts and sell high-end bikes. But, it was Labor Day, and Black Mountain Bicycles was closed. Leucadia Cyclery was closed. REI didn't have the part. B&L in Solana Beach doesn't carry any MtB parts. By the time I'd been to all these places, I didn't have time to check Amazon Bikes or Mountain Bike Wherehouse up in Oceanside. I am pretty certain that I don't need to check at Performance Bicycles as they seem to only carry lower-end mass-market items, so the chance of them having an obscure XTR part is pretty slim.

So, Labor Day riding was a blow-out for me which really sucks. Now, I'm back to riding on the road until the weekend.