Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Campagnolo Detonated

Somewhere on Gap road, on Saturday, the upper pulley bolt on my Record rear derailleur backed out- boom. Game over, 30 miles from home.

I wish I had my camera. Although I didn't get a picture, I did have my cell phone, which I used to call everyone in my address book with a) a car and b) a possibility of being in-town at noon on a Saturday. Which was, well, almost no-one. I guess friends who ride bikes are pretty unreliable when it comes to sitting on your ass on a weekend, waiting for an SOS.

So I got through to Brooke, who was only on her ass because she messed her back up and could not really leave the couch. Thanks, Brooke!

And especially thanks to the kindly retired couple who picked me up on their way into Springfield and dropped me off right off I-5, while I got grease and dirt all over their back seat and placed desperate phone calls for 20 minutes.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Campagnolo dissected

Do NOT try this at home. Unless, of course, your partner complains about the ergonomics of the SRAM shifters on her winter bike, and you open your mouth and say:

"Hey, well you've got some 9-speed campy you're not using, I heard SRAM and campy shifters were interchangeable, let me just switch the guts over to 10-speed and install those instead! I hear it's easy. Should be, like, two ratchets and a spring, cheap, I'll do it in my spare time."

Because, you see, she might let you. And then, you have to figure out what parts are the ones you need to buy, search the internet for instructions, download exploded diagrams, and explode a perfectly functional Chorus shifter all over your table.

And then, you get this:

And this is not fun.

But in case you were wondering, it works.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


My brain finally clicked off during finals week, and I stumbled to the end of the first quarter of B-school. Two days later I hopped a plane for Europe and spent some quality time doing a whole lot of very little and sleeping in. Four books in 16 days and eventually some short but regular rides brought me back to even keel by the time 2008 shut it's doors.

The Geneva area was hit by a warm spell just as western Oregon was hit by crippling snow. I left the day before Eugene took it on the snout.

Tucked up on the edge of the hills, there are two options this time of year: along the hills, or down into town. So, along the hills I rode. I ticked off the miles along the same roads most days, but, being completely new to them, boredom was forestalled for a while. Instead I picked my way back along the same roads, endlessly considering why, at an otherwise normal intersection, there always seemed to be several direction arrows pointing to towns and roads of significance and one reassuring sign that read "Toutes Directions" ('all directions').