Thursday, January 24, 2008


Cheap, Light, Won't disintegrate (and dump you on your head in the middle of an intersection) Pick Two


This was not what I had in mind when I got up this morning. I left the house with the intention of getting a good 1.5 hours in on the way to work. The idea is to incrementally up my commuting mileage going into the beginning of my base period. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men on pink bicycles.
Everything was going just fine. I was rolling along, it was a nice, sunny day, the temperature just shy of thirty degrees, I was loving life...until I came to an intersection in Cambridge. I sat there, track standing right next to a group of Verizon utility workers. The light turned green, I stood up and began to pedal forward. Then BAM! (Metal ripping apart type sound effects) I go flying over my bars, stuffing the bike underneath me like it was my partner in a game of leapfrog gone horribly awry. Then I'm in the middle of the intersection on my hands and knees, Verizon guys gathering about, making sure I didn't get run over by a Cambridge mom speeding to Yoga class.
I wasn't hurt, but my bike wasn't going anywhere. My White Industries chainring had sheared clean off of my Eno Cranks at the spider. The Verizon workers insisted they had tools in their truck which could fix anything. Not this time fellas.


I hefted the bike to my shoulder and walked a spell, I was about four miles from home, this was going to suck immensely. At this point I secured the chain and began scootering the bike down the sidewalk, leaping onto the saddle 'Cross style and coasting whenever possible. This got old quick, as my left knee began to throb with every push. The plus side was, I looked really, really cool doing this.
I stopped at my parents house hoping my brother who has the sleeping habits of Nosferatu might still be in bed and I might enlist him to give me a ride home. No such luck. I scooted the rest of the way home. There were no parts at the house to make Mr. Pink rideable. So awesome plan B was enacted: Ride my 35 lb. Schwinn Varsity the eleven rolling miles to work. Sweet. I couldn't wait.
I fixed the flat on the Varsity. One of the truly amazing things about this bike is that in the what...four years it's been in my possession it has never left me stranded with a flat. It has gotten two flats, one front one rear, both were slow leaks which occurred while the bike was parked on the porch. This with cheap gum wall tires. The Mojo which it's former master Todd Downs imbued this thing with must be mighty. MIGHTY.



As magical as this creature may be, after about twenty-five minutes of solid riding I was pretty miserable. All I could think about was my exit strategy...how would I get home by some other means than this lumbering mass of solid steel and rust.
It was fun while the fun lasted though, and with the neon yellow and teal Pearl Izumi Jacket I dug out of my closet (which may actually be a wormhole to 1989) I looked good doing it. This cycling thing is, after all a fashion thing for me, or couldn't ya tell?

12 comments:

gewilli said...

DOH!!!

Colin R said...

I take back any jokes I've ever made about you not having "mad watts." I hope some day i'm badass enough to rip a chainring in half.

JB said...

This is almost as good as a speeding ticket. glad to hear you're a-ok. Ish.

gewilli said...

mad watts?

nah - now if that was a good design in the first place and the ring was something other than mid-90s anodized CNC throwback bling... yeah. mad watts...

just bad luck... or bad design ;)

Thom P. said...

I think it was just freak bad metallurgy. I've been using those chainrings for years on the SS MTB. They deal with a whole lot more stress than this one did. It's a light weight race part, this type of thing happens. White's sending a new one, no questions asked and I have no qualms about throwing it right back on The Fixed gear.

bruno said...

You should edit the post and explain, and or add you last comment to it so people don't misunderstand and think you are dissing WI.

Thom P. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thom P. said...

I might be concerned if they were one of my sponsors, but since they're not I can be like Michael Ball and say crazy crap like:

I'll go out and buy that company and do my own chainrings. I'll make my own chainrings. I don't need their chainrings. I'll make better chainrings. I'll make cooler chainrings, that's for sure.

I think the three people that read this blog know I am rarely, if ever serious.

Andy said...

ride something enough and it will break, everything breaks, especially aluminum.
and you have at least four readers thom.

Colin R said...

ride something enough and it will break, everything breaks, especially aluminum.

That is NOT good news for the cross frame I ride 12 months of the year.

jeff said...

everything breaks eventually, especially when you've got crazy gorilla legs. like crazy. and gorilla-like. or maybe kangaroo like. if kangaroo's pedaled instead of jumped.

Adrian said...

White Industries sucks.