Thursday, April 13, 2023

A Day In The Sun

The lake at the old Mitchell Sand Pits.
Weather. It's just downright goofy this Spring. Wednesday felt like Summer with temperatures in the 80's here when the high is supposed to be in the mid-60's. 

Now will snow in May! I called it here first! 

Anyway, I was itching for a ride, but with forecast gusts of wind up into the mid-30's mph, I thought better of that gravel route idea and decided to stick to an in-town route to stay out of the open countryside. Good thing too because I was getting pushed around while riding as it was in town. I cannot imagine it would have been any fun out in the country. 

So, I decided to ride this little gravelly-dirt path around the Mitchell Sand Pit lake. Technically it is called 'Harold Getty Lake', but no one around here uses that name for it. In fact, I had to Google the place to find the name under "Mitchell Sand Pits", so even Google goes by that, it would seem. 


I think I may have roached my rear brake pad on this ride.

On the way over I had to get around the construction for the 11th Street Bridge which has blocked the bicycle trail going underneath its approach. I carefully went down the steep dike which the bike path is routed on top of there. I did a fine job controlling my brakes on the way down, and I went on my merry way. 

What I did not know was that this challenging braking situation must have done some damage to the rear caliper or the pads. I didn't really even have to use the brakes much at all until I was well into the path loop around that lake with the fancy-pants man's name. At the point where I would have been traversing the East end of the dam, I suddenly saw a line across my sight which was orange. In a split second, I had to decide if this was on the ground or up in the air, and a panic-braking situation ensued where I found out that I had not much rear brake anymore, but a ton of front brake, as usual. 

This meant that I instinctively pulled the rear brake, as I know that jamming on the front means a quick ejection over the bars. But when I felt nothing out of the rear brake, as I was used to, I had to grab a handful of front brake just to dump off speed, and to miss what I now perceived as a bar about five feet above the trail. Then because of the "delay" in scrubbing speed, I ended up doing a "fancy dismount" anyway. No harm. No foul. Just a slightly displaced right front lever, which was easy to bang back into place. 

I then went on with thoughts of what may have gone wrong with my rear brake. I still had a rear brake, but the lever travel was a LOT more than it had been when I started out. So, my thoughts are (a) replace the pads and see if I maybe had a pad failure (cheap option, easy to do, makes sense due to component age) or bleed the brakes, (makes more sense, hasn't been done ever, and is harder to do). Meanwhile I am heading out of the Mitchel Sand Pits area and I decided to stop for a second and grab the image of my bike above. I just happened to look at my Apple Watch and then I see the "no cell phone connection" icon. Wait! What?

Scene of the "yard sale". Apparently there were no customers on this day.

Suddenly I realized that I must have dumped the contents of my magnetically closed top tube bag when I dumped my bike. Whoa! Had I not noticed that icon on my watch, I may have gotten all the way back home before I realized what had happened.

I raced back to the scene of my fancy dismount and there it was. Gleaming in the Sun was an iPhone, my tire levers, and a patch kit. Good thing the park was not busy! And, for once, technology actually saves the day. By the way, I will be ordering a proper top tube bag for this bike soon. No more magnetic closures!

Figuring I had drained my Cup of Good Luck for the day, I headed home. It was good to be out in the Sun with no coat, or any Winter gear at all. This will not last though. Just wait until the weekend.....


Skidmark said...

Greets GT, the way lives depend on the “phone” now, seems a wireless-safety would be installed like on small watercraft should you or your phone fall overboard. Also, is the 5’ high metal rod still across the trail😗?

Guitar Ted said...

@Skidmark - I guess the "wireless safety" is my Apple Watch, in a manner of speaking, since the watch has a "find my phone" function that sets off an audible signal from the phone if you are in range of it. Not ideal if you are as far away as I was at first, but it would pinpoint an exact location once you were in the general area.

And yes, as far as I know, that bar is right where I found it yet. Bad deal. At the least they could have tied some flags to it to make it more noticeable and give someone a sense of height to it.