Saturday, June 20, 2009

Going Commando

I'm pretty good about trying to get the most of out things and make them last as long as possible, especially my bike gear since that can be somewhat pricey. After nine years and a couple cleat replacements my Shimano SPD shoes are ready to call it quits. The panniers I bought at the same time have had some restitching done and I've jerry-rigged some minor repairs. Their waterproof capability has faded over the years so I've always lined them with trash bags just to make sure my clothes, camera, etc., stayed dry especially in conditions like our recent downpours.

Yesterday morning I rode in the rain for the first couple miles on the way to work. After the rain stopped I was still getting my feet and the panniers wet by splashing through the puddles on the roads. After arriving at work I removed my panniers and carried them to the office. I unpacked my pants and shirt, my socks, and then my underwear which I discovered were soaking wet. Whaaaat? My underwear were on the very bottom so I looked at the panniers. There's a hole there. And there was a hole in the trash bag, too, providing unfettered access to the water my rear tire splashed to the sides.

I can't say for certain how that hole got there but the likely cause is from rubbing against the spokes. And how would that happen? Well, I have a tendency to dismiss odd sounds if I can't see their cause while I'm riding. It's a very poor practice and I don't recommend it. Three days ago I heard a strange tink tink tink on the way to work. I looked down at my wheels and chain rings while I was riding and didn't see anything. The noise stopped and I continued on my way. When I got to work one of the bungee cords holding my gym bag in place was gone. I was lucky I didn't wrap that up in my rear wheel. I've lost tail lights (and even a head light!) because I didn't stop and look after wondering, "What was that noise?" So it looks like learning has still not occurred--again. I'm guessing I heard the pannier rubbing against the spokes and thought something like, "Is that my front derailleur making that noise?" And then after dinking with the derailleur a bit the noise probably went away and I continued along in ignorance.

Like I said my underwear was soaking wet. When you mention underwear some people go right into that boxers versus briefs debate. To me that's similar to the helmet versus no helmet conversation. Some people want security and protection and some people just want their freedom. I always wear a helmet but as far as underwear goes, let's just say that yesterday the point was moot.

And if any of my workmates read this I can just imagine them holding their hands over their ears, closing their eyes and saying, "Too much information!"

No comments: