That’s why it won’t shift into the big ring!

That’s why it won’t shift into the big ring!

My bike has been acting strange lately! This is an understatement. My bike has been pissing me off lately is more like it! Almost to the point of, it’s going to be replaced by a younger model (It would be a midlife crisis for a bicycle marriage). The only saving grace for this bike is that this is “Good Stuff” the super bike. It’s the only bike I have ever done an Ironman on. It can do a century without a moments notice, not to mention that it hauls ass on the flats and can still climb the steepest of hills. Although it’s a mongrel (It’s a road bike with some tri geek goodies). Good Stuff has always been my drug of choice. But, ever since i got it back from Jerry this spring, it has been having trouble shifting into the big ring. During the 120 mile ride a few weeks back it would throw the chain off the big ring onto my crank-arm and I would have to soft-peddle it back onto the ring, or it just wouldn’t shift into the big ring at times. So I brought it back to Jerry before the Ludlow Tri and even he was having problems getting the chain to fall correctly. After 15 minutes of adjustments he felt it was correct (this should have been a clue that something else was causing this issue). During the Ludlow tri it would work, but I would have to let off while shifting into the big ring and the slight hesitation would allow it to shift up. Not a big deal, because i ride faster when im pissed off.

Fast forward to today:

Today’s big plan was to do the 80-mile Westfield to Greenfield to Westfield ride. The plan was to ride “Good Stuff” because of the Triathlon type workout. I rolled out of bed at 6AM and it’s raining! Well, this might just be a quick storm so i head out to Dunkin D’s for some liquid refreshments, a bagel and a maple frosted donut. The caffeine will keep me awake, The donut will carry me for about 8 miles then the bagel should get me to the 40-50 mile mark. I will already be consuming powerbars and before you know it, BANG! you got 80 miles in the bank (so the donut is a very important part of the pre ride nutritional plan that Matt didn’t mention). Although I did behave last night and only had 3 beers and was in bed by 1:30AM.

It is now 7:45AM and nobody has shown up yet? The ride is at 8AM and it is still raining. Then Tom DeLuca shows up and is about as thrilled as I am to ride in the rain. I Call Matt, he answers the phone, before i can say anything, he say’s “NO”. He saw the rain and decided that this wasn’t happening. Tom mentioned that it should clear as the day goes on and that he would be willing to ride early in the afternoon. This was perfect for me, I had to go to the shop and paint one of the rooms and this would save me from going back tonight.

As Im cleaning up, Tom rolls in on the bike and we are off. He is on a tight schedule and say’s that we got less than 2 hours. I suggest the Wed. night course Backwards. As we get to the end of silver and then turn right (North) I notice that the headwind is stiff. This means that we will be hauling ass to the airport and will have to fight the wind on the way back.  We start heading South and the pace picks up. Because of the tailwind and the increasing speeds i am required to flick it into the big ring. Even after trying all the tricks, the bike won’t shift into the big ring. I even try a cable adjustment on the fly and No Luck! Looks like a small chainring workout today. Not a problem at 25mph, but it is alot of work to be peddling at 30 on some of the downhills. Now Im thinking, “Thank god we weren’t doing the 80 mile ride and Im fighting this shifting issue”.

Tom and I end up hammering the whole loop and now we are way ahead of his allotted ride time, so we take some side streets and work our way over to hill street. Even though we are going North, this street has a ton of trees and the wind isn’t even a factor. Back to the shop and Tom has enough time for a Industrial Park loop. As he heads out, I pick the bike up and roll it into the back of my truck. I notice that the crank arm is wiggling. I grab onto it and it is about to fall off. The bolt that holds the crankset together has not only loosened, The nut is gone! I guess this explains why it won’t shift up. The crankset was on the verge of ending up attached to my shoe and not my bike.

was the rain this morning a sign? ……………… Good Stuff!