Saturday, September 20, 2014

In Which A Wobbly Two Tour Is Made

Me and Frances--but not my bike. A bronze of Frances Warde who brought the Sisters of Mercy to America. I've biked to MMU and repaired my ride, and then checked out the two new statues.

Two seemed to be the theme of the biking day today.

I tried to repair two bikes, but only fixed one. I went on a ride to a lake I had not seen in a while, and rode by another one, too. I wobbled to Mount Mercy because my handle bars were slipping, and saw two new statues.

First, the repair that did not work. The Beast has a broken foot. Actually, a spoke. I took apart the back wheel, planning to go to a bike shop to replace the spoke, but found that the only way to insert a spoke in this particular hole is to take the gears off. I don’t have a cassette adapter, so there isn't any way for me to accomplish that goal. If you have one (the adapter) and you don’t mind me borrowing it, let me know. Otherwise I’ll just take the wheel to a bike shop and hope they don’t sneer too much when they have to touch a department store rim.

My oldest son and his wife were visiting because they have a wedding this weekend to attend in Davenport, and I was half hoping we (my son and I) might get a ride in, but he had too many errands to run this morning—and also, around noon, it rained.

So it was wet this afternoon, but sunny, and I still wanted a bike ride. Around 2 (of course) I saddled up the Fancy Beast, which I think I made 10 times more useful this week by adding a water bottle holder, and off I went.

I rode towards the trail east of here and had my choice of (of course) two directions—north or south. I decided to head south because I haven’t been near the Prairie Parks Fishery for a while, and why not? I even toyed with the idea of the Sac and Fox, although I also wondered about its condition.

Anyway, as I was cycling south, I noticed a bit of a disturbing wobble. Luckily, it was not the type of wobble The Beast suffers from—it was not a broken spoke. But the handlebars were becoming loose. Oddly enough, the thing that I did that made them jerk the most was shifting gears.

I decided that the Sac and Fox would be out of the questions, and was debating whether to go as far as the Prairie Parks Fishery. But I also recalled that I keep a small toolbox in my office, so I thought maybe I could make repairs before I came home. So I passed by Cedar Lake and headed through downtown and went to the fishery.

Lake at Prairie Parks Fishery. It was a bit windy, but still a very warm, nice fall day for a bike ride. Lots of grasshoppers!

The fishery lake was nice, and sometime in the past few months (I think the last time I was here was in a June pre-RABRAI training ride) they’ve put up some public art, a giant picture frame at a point where you can view the Cedar River. I shot a photo there and also ate a snack.

Art by the river near a lake. And someone is on the Cedar in a canoe.

As I headed back west, the handlebar was getting looser and looser. I don’t think I was ever in danger of anything catastrophic happening—I could tell that two of the screws were still snug so there was no way for it to fall completely off, but since both top ones had shaken loose and were getting looser, the bar could move, both up and down and side to side.

A handlebar is not something that you want a lot of play in, I decided.

Anyway, I finally made it to campus and checked in my office. I not only quickly found the tools, but was lucky in another way. The screws that hold the handlebar on Fancy Beast have an odd star-shaped head, but my little tool kit has a fairly good collection of interchangeable screwdriver heads—including several sizes of star-shaped ones.

And we are all ready to ride again

One fit snugly, and a few turns of the screws later, the handlebars were snug.

It was getting a bit late in the afternoon by now—around 4:30—and I had recalled that two new statues were to be installed on campus today. I went and viewed and photographed them, and then headed towards home.

I thought the rain was all done mid day, but by 5 one dark cloud overhead just kept getting darker, and although the sky never clouded up all the way, indeed the spigot was opened before I made it home. It started with a sprinkle and moved on to a shower.

Catherine keeps her eye on the Fancy Beast at MMU's central plaza.

Still, at least this wasn’t the scary late-thunderstorm ride that I had earlier this week. There were neither booms of thunder nor electric flashes of lightning, and frankly I did not miss them. I was wet by the time I got home, but otherwise fine.

And even if the final 10 minutes were not the highlight of the ride, I have to say that twos-day was still a good Saturday for a bike ride.

I am wet, Bob. But I am apparently not a wicked witch and I did not melt.

Maple at MMU shows signs of fall.

1 comment:

  1. This is a wonderful gift. Thank you for sharing it. It brought me joy. :)

    With Great Love,
    your silly niece, Barbie