Finding and Fixing

Way back in September, I participated in the 50 States Ride in DC. When I got home, I couldn’t find one of my two bike headlights. I thought I had tucked my Light and Motion Urban 500 light in one of the side pockets of The Mule’s saddle bag. It wasn’t there when I got home so I assumed that a passerby had walked off with it.

Yesterday, I took Little Nellie to the Spokes Etc. bike shop in Alexandria to get it’s front shifting fixed. When I described how the chain wouldn’t stay on either of the two bigger chain rings, the mechanic suggested that my shifter had loosened. Sure enough, the screw that holds the shifter’s lever in place had backed out. The mechanic tightened it back up, I shifted the gears, and walked out a happy dude.

Today, as I prepared to ride to Friday Coffee Club, I could not find the helmet mount for my Light and Motion Stella 500 light. Without it I would have to mount the light on my handlebars. The Mule’s handlebar bag would obstruct the headlight’s beam so I chose to ride Little Nellie which features a lower profile handlebar bag.

I rode about a half mile and realized that despite yesterday’s mechanical intervention, the front shifter still would not hold the chain on the big chain ring. For whatever mysterious reason, the shifter would hold the chain on the middle chain ring. I reasoned this was good enough and rode 15 miles to the coffee meet up.

It began to sprinkle on the way there. Temperatures were on the low 30s. Despite this I managed to enjoy the ride being careful not to tempt fate by trying to use the bogus font shifter. This meant I relied excessively on my rear gears. The shifter controlling those gears was very stiff. And the chain seemed to want to work only in four or five of the nine available gears.

After caffeine I rode home in a steady rain. When I got home, I began to prep the bike for the trip to the bike shop. I took off the pump and grabbed my valuables from the handlebar bag. When I went to retrieve the Stella’s battery pack from one of the pockets on the handlebar bag, I noticed something tucked next to it. It was my “stolen” Urban 500 light! Yay!

Later, at the bike shop, a couple of mechanics took a look at my bike. Basically, it needs new cables and cable housings, a new chain, and a new cassette. If all goes well, I’ll pick the bike up next week.


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