Wednesday afternoon Michelle encouraged me to take off after work and do a longer ride. We’ve been having rain showers and cloudy weather for the last couple of weeks, and weekends have been busy, so my afternoon/evening rides are the only thing that allows me to rack up the miles for the months.
I decided to ride into Seattle, and then out to Woodinville and back. The hope was 50 miles or so, I was right on track, when at mile 47, I heard “PING!!!” Yep sure as hell, I broke a spoke on the front wheel!!
At first I was mad….
There I was about 4 miles from home. I knew Michelle was already in bed, so there was not one I wanted to call to come get me. Luckily I was able to limp the last 4 miles up hill to the house.
Now there is a lot of stuff I can do for a bike for temporary repairs, but replacing a spoke and truing a wheel is NOT one of them. I was off to the Local Bike Store the next day.
But, as I sat there that night I started thinking. It was pretty damn silly to be mad about the spoke. Hell, I had close to 12000 miles on that wheel. These are the ones that came with the bike back when I got it back in 2013
I bought this bike when my first one was stolen from work.
12000 miles may not seem to be that much. I know people who have gone farther without losing a spoke. But then I started thinking about all that this bike had been through…
Two weeks after I bought it, I did the Crater Lake Century
National Parks are beautiful, but mountain roads are NOT smooth! I also do not baby a bike when there is a downhill out of the mountains. This bike went from the showroom floor to some hard, fast riding in nothing flat.
It also did 206 miles in one day with the Seattle to Portland in 2014
Last year, I returned to the mountains with the RAMROD! 150 miles into, up and down and around Mt Rainier National Park
Once again, bumpy mountain roads, high speed long down hills with serious bumps.
Add to it, at least another dozen 100 mile days in addition to the big rides already mentioned.
But that is far from all.
I ride the bike all year long. Rain or shine, hot or cold
A bike has to be tough to survive bad weather.
On bike commutes, in addition to the rough trails there is the extra weight of panniers. Work clothes , laptop, and, lunch add to strain on the tires. Add to it the times I have brought home multiple bottles of wine from Woodinville, its amazing I haven’t had more issues.
What does all this mean? It means I beat the crap out of my bike. Its a work horse. It always gets me where I need to go and home again. Sooner or later, though, the abuse takes it toll. A spoke is the prime example.
The last time this happened was back with the old bike. In all honesty, if I only lose one every 12,000 miles, I have no complaints at all! And truthfully, once I thought about it that way, I went to the bike, patted the handlebars, and thanked it for being as tough as it is!
The bike shop got me back on the road Friday, for another 40 miles or so! So let’s see if I lose another one somewhere near 36,000 miles.
Like the wind folks!