3.09.2010

dropped... chatty cathy gets dropped...

photos... photos... photos
these photos have nothing to do with this post
but I have so many photos to post
yet no photos to post that correspond with the words or ideas contained in this rant
so...
I fill the void with some snaps from Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights

photos of nothing are photos of something
the city is an ever changing backdrop to our lives


last week on one of these springlike days I harnessed the moment and got out on the bike...

I suited up in what I thought would be the appropriate gear for the spring-like weather which still held a hint of winter cold in the background
threw my leg over the Specialized Tri-Cross cyclocross bike with its flat bars... yes... it is a very "fred-like" machine
no worries... with my utilitarian interests I am a bit "fred-ish" myself

early in the ride I felt my seat post had slipped
this bike has been having seat post slipping issues
in the shadow of the Mormon Temple I pulled over and grabbed the allen set I had in my jersey pocket
started in on a quick adjustment

first I loosened the seat clamp... then I raised the seat...

with things roughly where I wanted them I started to tighten things down
as things got tighter I decided to tighten things a little more
yes... just a little more... just a gentle quarter turn more
then... there was an audible CRACK!
then... there was an obvious SNAP!

this was no mysterious sound... I immediately knew what had happened
the allen bolt on the seat clamp broke

thus making it impossible for me to raise my seat to the desired height
thus making it impossible for my seat to maintain the appropriate height for proper leg extension
with my fingers crossed I rode further

a piece of gaffer's tape on the seat post kept the seat from dropping too far
at Connecticut Avenue I stopped and took a closer look at the situation

the light changed as I stood by the road side
my bike pointed north and a cyclist crossed Connecticut Avenue passing me headed south
after a quick glance at things I figured that my ride would have to be cut short
that I best just head for home

the seatpost was only going to slip more
that piece of tape would not resolve my issues

back on the bike I turned things around and made my short ride shorter

without much effort and not much passage of time I saw that same cyclist ahead of me
not trying to catch... just rolling at my pace I reeled him in
as we crossed East West Highway he took notice of me but with no concern
on Beach I rolled up along side of him and exchanged greetings

a car with handicap tags rolled along side of me
the driver had honked
now the driver was initiating conversation
like an impulsive fool I barked back at him
the driver's words unheard by me
my words unheard by the driver

the man on the bike along side of me paid no mind to the passing cars
we talked about the passing car

it is funny... I am far more social than most people on the bike
the exchange was pleasant while it was also clear that this guy just wanted to knock out his ri
de and listen to his headphones rather than give me his life history
so we rode... we rode at roughly the same pace
then... the pace picked up

or discussion of The Baker's Dozen and Plum Grove Cyclery ran its course
so rather than talking we pedaled
we pedaled at a similiar pace... until we hit each slight rolling grade up hill

each time we approached anything that resembled a hill the pace of this other rider increased
I fought to keep pace with my bearded brother of a different mother

unsure of the dynamic before me I tried to fit into the groove
downhill then back on the flats I hammered unsure but feeling confident that this man was sitting comfortably in my wind slip
not sure if we were riding together or against each other I tried to sort things out
after the burning became more than I could handle my pace started to wain and this man on his Ti IF t
ook the lead
I fought to get on his wheel before he got out of reach

not being completely comfortable with the draft I fought to find a comfortable balance of focus on the rear wheel and being relaxed on the bike
the wind kicked up and I enjoyed the thought that I was benefiting from my efforts

even if I am a foot taller than the man in the lead and I am riding upright with flat bars... I still could feel the benefits of the draft

then sure enough... his effort brought fatigue and I took the lead again
by this time I was really feeling it
this is not how I normally ride

this is not the ride I left the house looking for
I could feel it... and it felt good


with my seat tragically low I hammered hard on what is a slight grade downhill just past the Park Police Station on Beach Drive pointed in the direction of downtown and the National Zoo

cars behind us looked for a place to pass
without a computer on the bike I felt confident that we were going fast enough that we need not submit to the cars behind us
I stayed just right of center of our lane on the twisty sections

then drifted more to the right when things were straight enough for cars to attempt the pass

oncoming traffic was such that there were no convenient spots for the trailing cars to pass

one more passing of the torch and we were done
my bearded brother from a different mother faded left on Broad Branch... maybe to head to home... maybe to
hit the hills
it looked like I caught up with him for a fragment of his ride while he was the entertainment for my entire ri
de... my pleasant and intense but entirely too short ride

I knocked out the rest of my ride carrying that same energy and intensity until I got to my back gate
my legs were burning
I had been humbled but I had also gotten in a pretty solid work out


now it is time to dig through my various bins of bike parts in search of the proper parts to get the Specialized Tri Cross back on the road

GWADZILLA MENTION of INDEPENDENT FABRICATIONS

gwadzilla mention of Independent

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