Saturday, July 5, 2014

The tool that horrifies the Velominati and Estela

So there I was yesterday, on a wonderful ride with buddies, coping with a bit of chain Grrrr. I think this was Estela's way of telling me I'd been neglecting her too long. I was pretty sure the problem was sticky chain, old broken down lube caked with dust and other noxious substances.

After another layer of stain in the lodge I set Estela up on the bike rack and started working on the chain. I remembered the chain as coming apart very easily. Push the right two links together and it pops apart. Not today. I don't have the right plier thingies that would do this, so I had to improvise.



Are you afraid yet? This is not even remotely the right tool, but I got'er done. That's what being a guy is all about. Red Green would be proud of me, even if he would think Estela is a bit of a sissy bike. I say she's a classy bike who has never let me down.

Chain off, cleaned, I didn't even lose the two little link pieces I needed to put it back together. Cleaned the gears and gear changer thingie. My spelling is the first thing to go and I'm not even going to try to spell derailers. Put it all back together, then spent a while looking for chain lube. Eventually I found some, but it's not what I wanted to use. Better than nothing. A quick ride around the cul-de-sac had the gears going whir instead of Grrrrr. So who's up for a ~ 50 K (hopefully more than 25K, and for sure  less than 100 K) ride our 22X?

Then came the fun part. Getting the remnants of stain and chain lube out of my hands. It's still not all gone.

But no, the fun part was getting sunscreened up and heading out for a run in the heat of the day. I was in the mood to run. My knees have been feeling pretty good even with all the kneeling for the stain. I started easy, then headed up towards the reservoir and back. I was hoping to go for an hour, and in this heat, that's excellent for me. I ended up going an hour exactly, 8.4 K, working just a bit harder than chatchatchat pace, but not so much I was gasping and working. It was one of the best solo runs in a very long time. Why?
-It was short enough that I felt pretty strong throughout.
-It was long enough that I got a great workout, and had to talk to myself a little bit to keep going the last few minutes.
-It was the right level of exertion; I could feel my legs working, but no complaints.
-It was a hot sweaty affair, which was exactly what I wanted.

After some stretching and a shower I fired up the BBQ. I haven't done rack of lamb for a while, but my touch has not deserted me. It was awesome, even by my standards. Rack of lamb is just about my best thing to BBQ. Needless to say, we ate out on the patio. The weather was perfect.



So now I'm finishing off the glass of wine, and letting my meal digest in peace as I write this blog. I know there is Stampede chaos and people out there trying to get drunk and/or laid, but I am serene. It's almost bedtime, though I'll write a little longer. Writing on the patio is so peaceful. Good thing the wine is done, or I'd be pouring more.

If you want to ride, tweet me or email me, that's the best way to reach me. I suppose you could comment here too. I don't have a departure time yet, but it's not likely before 9am. Normally on these I try to leave after cool, and before baking hot.

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