The good news is I got in a 28 mile ride today. The bad news is I planned to do 50. I suffered a broken spoke in Brentsville. This is the third major mechanical failure in the extraordinarily small town of Brentsville. Everything on my bike breaks in Brentsville. The Brentsville Courthouse is rumored to be haunted. I’ve checked it out but never saw any ghosts. Perhaps I missed one and he really, really, doesn’t like bicycles.
The bike was rideable, the major hassle being that the rear tire would rub against my break pads once each revolution. That DEFINITELY has a drag effect on the bike! The last 11 miles were therefore extra special for me as I fumed on my way home.
I brought the bike into the shop and spoke to the owner who now recognizes me on sight. He said he has sold about 50 Crosstrails and mine is the only one with spoke problems. We then had a lengthy discussion about how and where I ride the bike. I assured him I was not deliberately putting it into pot holes or riding off cliffs. He said there is no reason why it shouldn’t be able to handle a rider of my weight on the terrain I was describing. His only thought is that perhaps I am sitting when I hit the larger bumps when I should be standing. Standing on the pedals moves the weight off the back wheel and distributes it more evenly across the bike.
I told the owner that I thought his service was great, but I didn’t want to continue to need his service every weekend. He agreed that was a worthy goal. He’ll be calling Specialized tomorrow to see if they’ll approve swapping out the entire rear wheel. Their answer will have a significant impact on where I take my future business.
The best part of my ride came when I was almost home, despite the broken spoke and the curtailed route. I was waiting at a red light when an old man rolled down the window of his car and said, “You are a rare thing: a cyclist who doesn’t run red lights.” Glad to be setting a small positive example for the greater cycling world, I smiled and said, “I only get one life. I’d hate to cut it short by being an idiot.” The driver smiled and said, “You got that right!” Then the light turned green and we were both on our way.