Seattle, when the days are still short and dark and wet.
Last year, with some friends I rode the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the last ride before it comes down. That’s the way I understood it anyway.
Wait a year, Big Bertha the boring machine is no longer stuck and the brand spanking new tunnel has been completed. Cascade Bicycle Club organized another ride of the viaduct and this time including the replacement tunnel.
As much as I’ve enjoyed my solo rides, I also get sort of giddy in such a huge group of cyclists. So much infrastructure open JUST for bicyclists. How cool is that.
Here are a few captures from 2018 and 2019 all rolled into one.
This Surly Disc Trucker was new in April 2018. Thanks to Skagit Cycle for the groovy bike.
The middle of May saw this machine headed to Colorado with me on/in the saddle. I was pedaling to my granddaugher’s birthday party. After that it rested while I did some long needed maintenance on my house. Once the weather changed from summer to fall, it came out for another ride. This time down the Pacific Coast of North America.
During a long ride, I haven’t figured out how to keep my bicycle chain clean. I’ve come to realize, it isn’t meant to be clean, it’s meant to be used. How long it will last is yet to be determined.
This bike was trouble free for the birthday ride, so I lived by the motto of “if it aint broke don’t fix it”. Yes, I can almost hear the eyebrows go up. “What about servicing a dependable machine to keep it that way?”, you may ask. My only defense is that one of the mechanics at Skagit Cycle said the best lube for that chain is that which came on it from the factory. So, based on that, I left it on the chain as long as possible. There was some rain and snow going to Colorado, but not so much that I was concerned about the factory lube being washed off.
Now, contrast the 1500 miles east and south to Colorado with the 1900 along the Pacific Ocean and believe me, there was a marked increase of rain. Certainly for the first half of the ride anyway. As a result, I too accepted it was time to clean my chain.
I was fortunate to be a WarmShowers guest with Ralph Clarkson and his family, in Aberdeen, WA. Ralph has wide work experience. A particularly valuable skill for a touring cyclist that Ralph has, is bike mechanic. Ralph was able to put my shifting problems behind me with a good cleaning and adjusting of my shifters. As a result, I feel the need to get a few more bicycle tools, learn how to use them and then be able to clean this chain and cassette, just as Ralph did. .
Park Tools YouTube channel, here I come.