Thursday, March 08, 2007

Texas Hell Week day 1: road trip, Zen and the art of bicycle maintenance

Minneapolis to Oklahoma City. Actually it doesn't suck too bad: switching off driving, a big playlist of good tunes, clear sunny skies and good company. Nothing much to see along the way in the heartland. The balmy weather here in Oklahoma City evokes my undergrad years in St. Louis. Really looking forward to getting on the bike in this kind of weather! Looks like the weather in Minneapolis is getting warmer too, so I'll be able to keep up the schedule after 'spring training' here by commuting and getting in some miles on the weekend. Thanks to Ultrarob for posting useful info on what to expect - more 'rollers' than hills by Colorado and Oregon standards, but perfect for early in the season.
__I generall keep my bikes in good repair, so I figured a quick once-over for the Basso last night would be all I'd need to do. I wanted to switch the front and back tires because I'd noticed the back tire was wearing more quickly. Throwing the bike on the stand, I pulled off the training wheels (perfect for this week) and pulled off the tires. I noticed the valve stems didn't match, reminding me of a repair last season, so I baby-powdered up the new tubes and took along the old ones (including one that was patched) as the spares instead. It's a good thing I examined the tires, though, because the rear one was in really sorry shape: very worn, lots of cuts and a chunk of rubber missing! Fortunately I'd also swapped out the other set of Vittoria Zaffiro Pros (my favorite training tire) on the racing wheels for some Vittoria Rubino Pro Slicks, which gave me some spares for the trip, so I was able to replace it. From there I decided I just had to clean the cassette since it was just nasty, which took almost an hour. Then cleaning up the rest of the bike a bit... So much for a quick once-over! Anyone else get obsessive once they get the bike on the stand for a 'quick adjustment'?