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Friday, July 05, 2013

"Well, at least this happened BEFORE the tour." (And a ride with cyclotourist)

From l to r: Andy, Chris, Arlo, David.
The word came down the wire a few weeks ago that David, aka cyclotourist over on flickr, would be leaving the reaches of SoCal to vacation up here in Portland. A ride or some kind of meet up was proposed. It eventually formulated into a nice Wednesday morning ramble.* So those of us who had Wednesday morning off (that would be myself, Andy, and Chris) met up with David and his friend Arlo at Water Avenue Coffee in inner SE. Since David, Andy, and myself had to "be somewhere" later in the afternoon, we decided on a shortish ride. I suggested we should go up the back way to Tabor, like I did on the June Country Bike Ramble, and then decide where we would go from there.

It didn't take us long to get up there. While there was some sweating getting to the top of Tabor, it was still overall pleasant compared to the heatwave that gripped the Northwest earlier in the week. (It got up to 97F/36C on Sunday.) Everyone was pretty jazzed so then we rode over to Powell Butte where we hung out up at the top and admired the view. From there we rode the Springwater Corridor trail over to Cartlandia at SE 82nd where we had lunch.
Map consultation on Powell Butte. Even with this, we managed to go down two wrong trails, rather than the one I really wanted to use. Even sometimes I fail at this stuff. Photo by cyclotourist.

From there we all parted ways. I had to get up to Hawthorne for work at 3pm. This would have been an easy ride and I gave myself a good amount of time to get there. But things ain't always so easy, and a few miles from work I felt the saddle get loose all of the sudden. So I got out the Allen wrench and started to tighten the binder bolt on the seat post on the Long Haul Trucker. That's when the bolt snapped. Damn.

This wasn't the first time I've snapped the binder bot on this (or other) bikes, and probably won't be the last. At least it didn't happen at an inopportune moment while riding. And at least this is happening before the tour, rather than ON tour, where I would be far, far from bike shops (or civilization) for that matter for much of it. Extra binder bolts isn't usually in the tool kit, and while zip ties work wonders, I doubt it would do much for a saddle.

Luckily I wasn't that far from the Bike Gallery in Woodstock, so I walked the bike over there. The mechanic looked at the seat post and bracket and noticed how "rounded" out the bracket was and that the knurled surface where the bracket attaches to the seat post was heavily worn. He surmised this was due to the loosening of the bolt and suggested the safer bet would be to replace the whole seat post and bracket.

Rather than dish out top dollar on a Thompson seat post I got a very adequate Bontrager** set with two binder bolts for easier adjustment. It isn't the prettiest looking seat post, but what was the alternative? Go somewhere else when I'm already late for work? Anyways, it's not like the old one was a looker, and if I really wanted a nicer looking one I could get another one. But it will do for tour.

Photo: Andy Schmidt
Hopefully this will be the only bad thing that happens to the Long Haul Trucker for a while...

*Ramble is the new fancy way of saying "bike ride" in Grantpetersonese.
**Bike Gallery is a big-assed Trek dealer, hence Bontrager parts.

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