A quick entry to gloat more than anything else. Wait! Before I get to the gloating the day did not start off especially well on the bike. I pulled the Kona out of the shed and quite by chance happened to feel that the rear wheel felt a bit lose as it dragged across the brick. I thought that I had not tightened up the rear nuts enough, but that wasn’t it. The wheel has a certain amount of play left and right, and that was something new to me.
My first instinct was to get in touch with Andy who knows pretty much everything there is to know about working on a bike. A quick look at my watch, however, confirmed that he would already be at work and so unable to assist. “Alright!“, I said to myself, “I’m going to have to fix this one all by myself.”
Let me just paint a little picture here. I don’t have much in the way of tools. In fact, just this past weekend I finally bought the right size wrench for the fixie so that I would not have to use an adjustable spanner that was stripping the rear nuts. Realizing immediately that this new wrench of mine was not what I needed to solve this latest wobbliness, I headed down to the basement and rooted through my toolkit, if you can call it that, and produced the aforementioned adjustable spanner as well as a fat pair of pliers to jam the other side (should that be required).
My first attempt to fix the looseness in the wheel resulted in the wheel losing almost all it’s “looseness”. I had put everything back together and then lifted the rear off the ground and gave the wheel a good spin. It stopped almost immediately. Interesting. So I took everything apart again and loosened a little what I had tightened up thinking all the while to myself that it did not make sense at all. Still, it seemed to do the trick. The wheel spun freely and there was no more lateral wobble. On my way!
Now, finally onto my gloating moment: the ride home. The afternoon ride is typically faster than the morning one regardless of the conditions. I find that I am more aggressive on the way home, no doubt to discharge a day spent at my desk on conference call after conference call. Nothing like a hard ride to rid you of any stress energy. Today was no exception and I knew within the first 2 km that today was going to be a quick one. And so it proved to be.
I felt great the whole way back and so did the Paddywagon. Average speed 31.1 km/h is pretty good given the route that I have (very slow start leaving the Campus and Nun’s Island) and of course the fact that I only have the one gear. I only wish that I had the cadence metre on the Kona because my legs must have been spinning in the 110 rpm range the whole way. I was reminded, however, that on a fixie you’re never going to be able to motor like you can on a road bike. I was bombing along the Lakeshore about 1.5 km from home and feeling pretty invincible, when all of a sudden this young bloke goes flying, (and I mean flying), by me on his time trial bike. He’s all tucked in the aero position and he didn’t even have time to acknowledge me such was the speed at which he went by.
All of a sudden I felt slightly mediocre again. Ah! Who cares! I was rocking today!