All went well at the bike shop. They replaced my broken spoke at no charge but they didn’t have the exact same pedals in stock, necessitating Bike Modification #2 (my first mod being a camera clamp). In lieu of the original pedals, they offered me some VP pedals at no charge. These are low-end and nothing terribly exciting. They consist of a single piece of resin surrounded by a metal frame. They can’t be worse than the stock pedals, which had a lifespan of about 250 miles. After today’s 38 mile ride, all is well.
After taking care of my broken parts, I decided to get an upgrade which resulted in Modification #3. The stock hand grips on the Crosstrail are tolerable, but one of the main disadvantages of this style of handle bar is you cannot change hand positions like you can with drop-down bars used on most road bikes. This causes your hands to go numb after a while, no matter what kind of gloves you’re wearing. To help with this, I picked up some Specialized ergonomic hand grips. They are flatter with a wider base to help distribute the pressure point where the hand meets the bar. Like with the pedals, the early results after today’s ride are encouraging. They don’t stop all the discomfort, but my hands never went numb like they have before.
As an aside, if you decide to get new grips I encourage you to have your bike shop install them. They are a MAJOR hassle to take off unless you have access to a pressure hose, which the Old Towne Bicycles mechanic inserted under the original grip. With high pressure air moving under the grip, they easily came off. I can only imagine how much cursing and sweating would have been involved if I attempted this in my garage! So a heartfelt thank you goes to Tyler, who offered to make the switch without my asking!
Today’s ride was in ridiculously hot conditions much like the past four weeks have been. I pedaled up Bristow Road and used Nokesville Road to cut across the southern part of Manassas. I then picked up the Prince William Parkway and headed home. I tried some back roads in a residential area off of Spriggs Road – that was a mistake as there were way too many stop signs (and I don’t want to be the cyclist who blows off traffic laws and earns the score of nearby motorists).
And finally, here is a pic of some geese and a few ducks in a Manassas Pond. Most of these guys were in the water when I arrived, but my appearance caused a mass migration for a nearby shade tree. I’m not sure the point of that. There weren’t begging for food and if they knew anything about me at all, they would have known it was far safer for them in the water!