Friday, April 24, 2015

Throwing Money at the Problem

After doing some more bike research online and running some errands, I decided that I would head to the reasonably sized city of Prince George to buy a bike, if I was going to at all. I drove the three hours north I would have driven anyway and headed to the closest bike shop once I arrived. Over the course of the day I headed to 4 different bike shops, rode at least a dozen rides, did a lot of online research... basically all the stuff necessary to convince myself that this wasn't what it was, an impulse buy. Finally, I settled on a ~$1000 Trek X-Calibur 8, which had the best components for the money, an air shock, rode extremely well, and I wanted it. I'm an adult I can do what I want.

I got a new rear derailleur, and bike

A photo posted by Byron Young (@byron.a.young) on

They helped me swap the pedals, do some last minute checks and then I mounted the bike to Miho. Last thing to figure out was what to do with Futility. I decided someone should be able to find it a good home, but after the last few days I didn't really care, I just wanted the bike gone. I decided to leave it next to a dumpster and if someone wanted it, so be it.

Someone will give her a good home, right?

A photo posted by Byron Young (@byron.a.young) on

I was on my way out, and suddenly my $50 Harbor Freight bike rack seemed comically inadequate for the task at hand. Whereas before I would have likely laughed had the rack snapped off and dragged across the ground with my bike grinding its way to a halt, with my new bike this would not be acceptable. I drove along, worrying every minute that the bike would be damaged by a rogue rock, corroded away by rain, or contact the ground the moment I hit a large bump. The rear tire was also hanging worryingly off from the left side of the car, creating the possibility that if I or someone else drives too close to that part of the car, the bike would likely be damaged or destroyed. The bike lock was putting load at the middle of some spokes, potentially bending them irreversibly. I never worried about any of this with Futility, but now I was adamantly worried something would go wrong. And then, suddenly, I smelled the faint odor of burning rubber and immediately stopped and inspected the bike.

When initially mounted, the bike was nicely elevated from the ground, and spaced a decent distance away from the back of the car. However as I drove along, the front tire of the bike started shifting forward, and as it did so it got closer and closer to the exhaust pipe. As I was driving along, the front tire heated up and melted enough to produce a bump on the side of the tire as the tube expanded into this weak point, but luckily I stopped in time to prevent it from actually getting damaged.

I immediately reassessed how I was mounting the bike, and started rearranging the entire setup. I decided to remove both tires, and place them on the rack separately with the frame. I liberally applied duct tape to prevent the frame from scratching the wheels, and added a bunch of redundant ropes, straps, and the bike lock itself. I also added tape around the expensive derailleur. It seems to have solved every problem, but we'll see.

Problem solved

A photo posted by Byron Young (@byron.a.young) on

I'm on my way to the place recommended by the bike shop, Smithers. I didn't end up having time to ride today, but hopefully tomorrow morning I can get an early start and get a ride in there on the new bike. And, hopefully that tire isn't too damaged from my incompetence. I'm currently driving West, hopelessly trying to escape this poor weather. Hopefully it'll clear up somewhere so I can have a relatively dry camping spot. 

No comments:

Post a Comment