A long morning of getting stiff and chilly while sitting in front of the computer prompted me to warm up outside, in the 19 degree cool air. Dennis and I wrapped up in our winter bomb-proof suits, and started off into the woods. 45' into it, I felt that unmistakable feeling of metal snapping, and shouted ahead to Dennis, "hey, I think my bike is sick, it feels like it is going to break".. so we stopped. He quickly diagnosed a disgusting rear cog, with way too mucky grime accumulating and potentially causing a chain skip. I knew the prognosis was bad, it was much worse than that. As he scraped the layer of oily black gook off with a twig, my rear cog snapped in 2/3 and 1/3 fell off into the dirt. S'funny I was JUST thinking I should swap it out for a x17 tooth insted of the x18 that it is.. and cccrrrack.. there it goes..
I wonder if Chris King will replace it? :) At 127 lbs, I am not the heftiest rider on their cogs, and it really should withstand more than I have delivered to it, dirty grime an' all. Whatever the outcome, I will definitely be replacing it with the upgrade, a stainless steel version of the x18 gear. Having baulked at the $55 sticker, I had gone with the frugal aluminium option, leaving the SS version for Dennis, 50lbs heavier and much crazier on the bike than little ol' me, and now as I jogged down Old Northwest road in my mountain bike shoes, I regretted every dollar I had saved in the purchase.
As the shiny Landrovers (3) and Rangerovers (2) and BMWs (2) and Lexus (1) passed me (jogging, with my bike, chain dangling, helmet on, quite obviously not riding my bike) I began to realise that either my community is not as friendly as I thought, or I looked, in my helmet, black windproof lycra and bootie covered bikeshoes, like an axe-wielding maniac..Having run 3 miles (at 7.4-7.8 mph) clopping along with my bike in one hand, I got fed up enough to flag a car (Landrover) down, asking the driver (female, blonde, 40's) if I could toss my bike in the trunk and she could give me a ride to the end of Swamp road. She looked in the back seat, told me she COULDN'T, that she had a CHILD in the back.. and drove off.. I can only hope that her child never grows up to be a single woman, standing in the frigid weather with a broken down car. Clip clopping along, I made it back in 45' or so..Back home, I salvaged the afternoon with a workout on the trainer and a hot cup of Barry's (Irish) Gold Blend tea (thanks Rikki).