Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Friday, February 26, 2010

MacGyver's Got Nothin' On Me!

The first 3/4 mile, or so, of my ride home is my least favorite part of my commute.  I have to ride on Holly Street, with drivers who are, apparently, dyslexic (the speed limit is 35, not 53, dammit).  Plus, I occasionally have to deal with an 18-wheeler whose driver apparently doesn't like me. (It couldn't be the bike.  Every truck driver loves cyclists.)

So, I tend to go as fast as I can until I get to 38th Avenue, where I turn left and get onto the less-traveled neighborhood streets.  That's what I was doing, this afternoon, when I crossed under I-70 and got stopped at the red light.  As I took off, on the green, I heard something rubbing on the rear tire of the bike.

"What now?" I thought, as I pulled over to the side of the road.  After a few seconds of inspecting the bike, I saw what the problem was.  The P-Clamp holding the lower leg of the rack, on the drive side, had broken, and the clamp on the other side was about halfway to being broken.

I looked around on the road for a piece of wire, or twine, or anything I could use to lash the remains of the clamp to the seat stay.  I was really not wanting to have to turn around and ride the 3/10ths of a mile back to the lab in order to rig something up.

Just as I was about to give up and do just that, my eye fell upon the velcro pants-cuff strap I keep on the bike frame...just in case I need it.  Today, I did, indeed, need it.

After a couple of tries, I figured out how to secure the rack leg:

Ahhh, now that top picture makes more sense!

I rode a pretty slow, pretty careful commute home, hoping to not only get home without knocking my "repair" loose, but also hoping that the other P-Clamp wouldn't snap as I was riding along.  I kept my eyes open for something I could use to fix the other leg, if it did break, and eventually picked up a discarded shoe lace (just in case).

I got home without any further excitement, mulling things over as I rode.  This is the straw that drove the final nail into the coffin of the camel with a broken back, as far as the Raleigh is concerned. 

The Raleigh is a great bike, but it's not a great commuter.  I have never liked using clamps to attach anything to a bike, especially a rack which carries a goodly amount of weight.  I'll strip it down and use the parts to rebuild the SOMA frame, which does have rack eyelets.

Anybody interested in a Raleigh XXIX frame and fork?  I figure $150.00, shipped within the Lower 48.



At 6:31 PM , Blogger katina said...

Be careful with those 18-wheelers. A biker lady got run over by one the other day just outside our neighborhood.

oddly one of the other stories on that page involved a man who died in a one-car crash. One of my friends was driving home on that road and stopped to perform CPR when he saw the guy lying in the middle of the on-ramp.

At 7:44 PM , Blogger Big Oak said...

I was going to make a clever quip about duct tape, but thought about the 18-wheeler and the comment above. Be careful out there man.

At 10:29 PM , Blogger Steve A said...

Duct tape, next best thing to electical tape.

I looked at the article about the 18 wheeler. Don't "veer" in the vicinity of 18 wheelers on a bike. that would seem to be pretty obvious, but apparently not to the biker lady. Maybe it's an Austin thing.

Myself, the 18 wheelers are far preferable to the drivers in hybrids with the cell phones in one hand and the latte in the other. God love professional drivers. I KNOW what they will do and they KNOW what I will do. It makes for harmony.

At 4:57 AM , Blogger frankenbiker said...

In Ohio I can't buy P clamps anymore because they have been deemed to contain to much lead,yet I continue to see 50/50 solder.Go figure.Velcro,Duct Tape,Electrical Tape and let's not forget the the old standby Zip Ties!I always carry a few zip ties of varying lengths good for rack fixes,derailleur rigging,attaching baskets/bags,zipper pulls you get the idea.


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