2019 May 30, Un-Grooming Report;

2019 May 30, Un-Grooming Report;

In our tireless effort to keep you both up to speed, I am spamming you yet again.  When you get to use one of these in National Mine your day is not going as planned.  Always seeing 50% too much glass rather than questioning ½ full vs ½ empty I couldn’t help but wonder at my good fortune.  After all, I was comfortable in a summer jersey, there were no biting insects and didn’t even think about bringing a rain coat on the ride.

I was all set to run a photo of what was left of my derailleur but in haste left even the junked parts at the bike shop.  In the olden days of “10 speeds” and down tube shifting one could fine tune a bike with your eyes closed.  Don’t get me wrong, I always take the Tarmac over my chrome molly Trek (converted to a 12 speed mind you).  Of course, one of the positive aspects of road cycling is the long time between failure.  You get your bike out and ride; put it away; repeat.  Before and after a mtn bike outing you have the obligatory clean-up-fix-up step.

However, once in a while, hubris rears its unattractive head.  What a rookie mistake.  I haven’t gone over the top sprocket since either of you were born.  In the olden days such a mistake would leave one with an embarrassing set of tell tale dings on your spokes but little real damage.  I am reminded of advice once received at a sail boat regatta.  The winning skipper explained he used too heavy gear for the moderate breeze. He went on to explain that if it didn’t break it was too heavy (of course, it goes without saying, if it did break it was too light).  Well, my faux pas ripped my derailleur and the hanger right off the frame.

So I am on the side of the road attempting to turn my 18 speed into a one speed without a cage.  It looks easy on paper; you know, just like using  a bow drill to start a fire.  You need to set the chain length just right and pick the sprocket that is right in line with the chain ring.  Well, my chain ring plane is imperfect and every few rotations the chain would jump.  So, walking into Ishpeming pushing a bike drew the attention of three cyclists with a month’s worth of gear on panniers. They were looking for some local knowledge on the best way to Marquette.  They are in the middle of a ride to Nova Scotia!  They were headed into an adult establishment for libation after a long day in the saddle so I said, “let me fix my bike and we can ride in together.”.

To my great good fortune, Spenser Prusi just opened a bike shop in Ishpeming that day!  Seeing me walking with the bike, Spenser dropped what he was doing, put the bike on a stand and set about the task of getting me on the road.  What a great shop.  Check it out; The West End Bike and Ski shop; and say hi to Spenser.

I returned to the bar and after a libation of my own, the four of us set off for the run to Marquette.  All was going according to plan when entering Negaunee my chain blew apart.  Walking into Bucks store to see if I missed the last bus to Marquette a nice man with a pick up truck asked if I could use a ride.  He was heading to Marquette and gave me a ride right to my door.

I have bothered you both in order to underscore how lucky we are to live in such a place.  Imagine, we get to live in a place where we can do these things every day.  So too, it is not everywhere that that people drop what they are doing and go out of their way to fix your day.  Here is to hoping your next break down is as easy.

See you out there.