Saturday, October 5, 2013

Unplanned Multi-Modal Transportation

The day started out great. Met up with the group at Tumwater Falls Park. There were about 11 of us. A little over 19 miles into the ride, we were going up the hill out of Littlerock heading to Mima Rd. I was out of the saddle climbing when I heard a twang sound, and it suddenly got much harder to pedal. I thought I had a flat, but no. I had broken a spoke. 

Back in September as I was riding to the start of the RSS ride, while going over some train tracks, one of my water bottles bounced out of the cage and wedged itself between the drive side chainstay and the rear wheel. Except for the destroyed water bottle, everything seemed okay. It was only later that I noticed a spoke was slightly bent. I had been meaning to take the wheel in, but just hadn't had time. I had also done a few rides (in addition to the 100+ RSS ride) on it with no problems. I guess I pushed that too far.
Notice the broken spoke.

The wheel was free from the brake, but it was rubbing on the frame at the bottom bracket end of the chainstay. The guys tried to adjust the opposite spoke so I could slowly ride home, but no one had the right spoke tool (turns out it requires a special size spoke tool). It was deemed unrideable. Melody flagged down a car, and I hitched a ride. Shirl, little Jason, and Jason's mom were on their way to a birthday party. They brought me back into Tumwater where I would be able to catch the bus. 

I've been telling myself I need to take my bike on the bus. I've flown, and taken the train with various bikes, but never the bus (we did take a bus twice in New Zealand, but not a city bus with a bike rack). I carry a single-ride bus pass when I'm riding in case I get stranded. The problem was that I would have to change busses to get home, therefore requiring a day pass. I had cash, but not correct change. I had time before the bus came to run over to a coffee shack and get correct change so I could get a day pass.

The bus pulled up. I got Tessa on the rack without any problems (it's not rocket science--the directions are on the rack). As we pulled up to another stop, a guy put another bike on the rack (they hold two bikes). As the bus was pretty full (surprisingly for a Saturday), the guy ended up sitting with me. His name was Johnny. I asked him if it was possible to get my bike off without disturbing his. He said it was easy. I just needed to release the retention arm and pull the bike straight out. It was easy, and soon I was waiting at Tumwater Square for my next bus. I had about a 40 minute wait because the 13 and the 68 time schedules don't sync together very well. 

Waiting for the 68.

Finally, I was on the 68 and headed home. 
Tessa rides the bus!

Once I got off at my stop, I had to "cyclocross-style" carry Tessa home. The rear wheel wasn't doing a lot of moving.

So, a few lessons learned here. 1) Don't wait to replace a spoke. It's gonna eventually fail. 2) Either carry correct change for a day pass, or carry a single-ride ticket and a day pass ticket. 3) Taking your bike on the bus is a piece of cake.

I took the wheel in to Joy Ride to get a replacement spoke. The spokes for Tessa are around $8.00 (she's special that way--spokes are usually around $1.00)! They also have to order it (again, such a special girl). Since I want to take a crack at replacing it myself, they also have to order the correct size spoke wrench. I'll be riding my rain bike for tomorrow's ride.

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