Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Trolling Snohomish County (2015-09-19)

With my new Surly Troll (built using parts from the old Trek 950) nearly complete, I took it for a spin up through Snohomish County. I rode with my father for a bit, too.

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Outbound

Due to getting a late start because of the rushed completion of the bike I used this time, I got started a half-hour later than usual. It was worth it, however, as the bike was as comfy as they get!

I headed north up my typical way to the Interurban Route, then stuck to it for quite some time.

When I got to Mountlake Terrace, I noticed a new trail jutting off to the right, so I followed it.

After doubling back, I continued along the trail through Lynnwood, exiting it at my usual place, which featured some new roadwork for the Costco opening up in Lynnwood.

The ride continued fairly uneventfully other than drizzle here and there all the way until Everett. However, I noticed a bit of a squishy feeling when pedaling after going along the low river route to Snohomish for a couple miles. Of course, it was a puncture, and it was caused by a glass shard.

Me being who I am, after having seen large swaths of broken glass all over highway shoulders on my tens of thousands of miles of cycling, the thought that these tires were woefully inadequate for loaded touring became prevalent in my mind. Some new tires will be needed, but these were fine for the ride.

Right as I started, I saw a group of several cyclists headed the same way well behind me. When they caught up, I ended up in the middle of the group, which was headed for Bellingham to hang out for a night or so. At one point, one of the cyclists' rims cracked and another was carrying the bad wheel while the former was riding a different wheel.

When I got to Snohomish, I met up with my father so we could ride together for a bit. He was riding a Citizen folding bike outfitted with a rack and a saddle I got him for Christmas years ago.

While riding along, I sometimes took to the gravel sidepaths for a little variety. I also helped him move his saddle backward by flipping the clamp forwards and sliding the saddle back along the rails. I tried to help him with the indexing in his lower gears on the rear derailleur, but I still couldn't remember which way to turn the adjuster. (My LBS later told me that to increase tension, it's like unthreading a nut.)

When we got to Lake Stevens, he decided to head back while I continued on.

Getting from Lake Stevens to Arlington is always easier than going the other way, so it was rather fast. I had to stop a couple of times to pump up my rear tire, though, as it was losing 5-10 psi per hour.

I ended up stopping for coffee in Arlington after asking a local about one of the better places. It was 'white coffee', which I've had before in a mocha. It tasted much better straight, though.

While at the shop , I ordered a set of tires with puncture protection from my local shop.

(Later on, I decided on a set of Schwalbe Big Bens in rusty red/brown instead.)

Inbound

Due to my paranoia, I made a point of trying to get down to the bike shop in Snohomish as quickly as possible for a fresh tube and a tire liner, since it seemed like I botched the patch.

My saddle was starting to develop a bit of sag as I rode south along the Centennial Trail, but the center line was still pretty taut, so messing with the tension bolt wouldn't have helped.

The ride back was pretty quiet, and my rear tire didn't seem to be losing pressure too quickly. My knees weren't quite right, though; my right one especially.

I managed to get back to Snohomish about twenty minutes before the shop closed, and to my luck, they did have tire liners in stock.

When I left, one of the employees ran after me and asked me if I wanted to keep the old tube. I didn't bother, but I did ask for help identifying what I had messed up. As it turned out, there was one part of the patch that wasn't smooth down (I had a heck of a time trying to get it off the plastic backing and didn't think to smooth it down after the fact), and the mechanic suggested that was the cause. At least I learned a lesson there.

I ended up getting an espresso milkshake at the shop said mechanic suggested, which was pretty tasty indeed.


After leaving, as I approached the foot of the big climb over SR-9, my right knee started to develop a sharp pain every now and then. I got it in my head to ride te Everett and take the bus home, as I couldn't ride the whole way like that.

When I did finally get to Everett, I had another idea: reduce the leg extension. When I was dealing with fit issues in the past, I learned to recognize what "too much extension" was, which inspired me to do this. I asked a local for a place where I could find masking tape and they pointed me to the local Lowe's (which was hard to find).

I was only able to find SAE tape measures, which was okay. The adjustment got rid of the sharp pain, though my knee still wasn't too happy. However, I do recall someone saying that, if the pain stops getting really bad after a fit-related injury, it's probably a sign that things are good.

After all that, I was able to make it home, albeit rather late for the distance. My right knee was still tender that night, so I had to be careful.

The next morning, my knees were like new, but I was hung over and had a nasty cold, which unfortunately hung around for a couple more days.

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