My current working theory is that at some point in my life I have inadvertently angered a clan of gypsies. Possibly while I was riding my Giant. The gypsies then cursed the bike.
To add to my previously enumerated woes, today I rode the TCR because the Long Haul Trucker is in need of a new chain. I was making really good time until my cellphone rang. It was in my backpack, so I pulled over to answer it.
Pulling over was simple, and involved 1) shifting down to my lowest gears while still moving, then 2) hearing a loud grinding sound and many clangs and pops. 2) is a completely optional step, and not recommended.
Apparently my rear derailleur shifted my chain all the way off the cassette and into the spokes. The spokes were moving quicky and the cassette was not because I was no longer pedaling.
A chain can eat through spokes at quite a rapid rate when properly motivated, and today was no exception. I ended up with a 24 spoke wheel that had, due to budget constraints, been reduced to a 21 spoke wheel. When you only have 24 spokes to start with, every one of them counts. Especially on the drive side.
The first item of business was to try to extricate the chain from between the cassette and the remaining spokes. This is much more easily stated than done, and ended up requiring the collective brainpower of 5 people--two nice couples stopped to help me. If any of you happen to see this, I really appreciate all the help!
The next step was to wrap the broken spokes around the spoke closest to them. This wasn't so hard.
Step three was to try to introduce some semblance of trueness to the wheel. This was very slightly successful, but the paired spoke wheels are apparently tricky to true at the best of times.
Then the rear brakes got loosened, the wheel got replaced, and I carefully rode the remaining 3-4 miles to work, listening to claning noises the whole way and hoping the wheel would not suddenly collapse.
The ride home was my slowest ride ever, I was usually only going 11-13 mph because not only was the brake rubbing, but I was quite fearful that the wheel would collapse. The thought of calling my brother for a ride crossed my mind, but I am way to cool for that. ...
So I guess this weekend I might have to find a good shop. "Village Cyclery" in Yellow Springs was suggested as being quite good, but if there happens to be anyone else in the Dayton area with an idea I'm open to other options.
I might just leave it hanging on my wall and fix it much later though. It's gonna cost quite a bit of money because I have the feeling that the rim is shot and I will be surprised if the derailleur hangar isn't bent.
At least I've got two good commuter bikes, the other of which is rock solid--and is always carrying a spare spoke. I also have my full suspension mountain bike, which I could definitely take to work if I needed to, but is far from my first choice.
In happier news, I went to Cold Steel's website today and saw their new graphic on the front page, which I am sure they won't mind me reproducing here:
What can I say, I like good knives, I like their knives, and he's using cycling to sell the product. Gotta love that non cycling industries are pushing cycling. And the picture amuses me.
Now I think I should buy a knife to show how much I like them.
I should email them though and tell him to be careful of those low spoke count wheels, like me he's a pretty big guy. Only with muscles and things.