Adventures in Cycling

Wednesday, July 9, 2008
This past week and a half has been quite a busy one. Since I've had really nothing to do down here in the south I decided that this would be a great time to go out and explore the trail system on my (well my parents') bike.

It all started out with a day trip out to Killarney Lake, not too far from where I am staying. The weather was great - not too hot and had a nice breeze. A rather nice trail to head out on - especially since I hadn't done any trail biking since last year.

Soon, I wound up taking daily trips out on the trail system all throughout Fredericton. Out towards Silverwood / Woolastook on the Valley Trail, all over O'Dell park, out towards the airport on the Lincoln trail which joins onto the Trans Canada Trail, and the Vanier Trail, which also joins the Trans Canada Trail. All without a hitch. Bike seemed to be working quite fine - other than some minor gear / derailleur issues, but nothing that I couldn't handle with a little bit of tightening of cables. Or so I thought.

So today being another hot and humid day (it's been disgustingly hot and humid here in Fredericton for the past week), I decided enough was enough - time go outside for a bike ride. So I headed out, Camelback filled with cold cold water, a couple of apples and a peanut butter sandwich, and the cell phone and 40$ incase I got stuck somewhere's and off I went. Just to be different, I took the Northside trail today that joins up onto the Trans Canada Trail (Upper Saint John River - Irving Nature Park Trail) that would eventually take me out towards Mactaquac, but I was only going to be going as far as Keswick for today as it was just too humid out.

So I headed out, ready for a great morning / afternoon of biking. Or so I thought. All was going well until about 1KM before the Keswick Plaza. The derailleur on my bike decided to crap right out and go berserk - more so than usual. It would not hold a gear no matter what I tried. And not having a pic-nic table in sight, I couldn't easily flip the bike over and do some trouble shooting. Swearing up a storm, I continued biking to the plaza, chain and gears grinding against each other - no doubt that I was coming along as I am sure you could hear me for kilometers.

I made it to the plaza and flipped my bike up so I could be at eye level with the derailleur while I ran through all of the gears trying to see where exactly the issue was - and not having the proper tools with me also was a slight hinderance to the DIY repair.

So here I am, a good 15km out of Freddy, with a bumed bike, and me now all sweaty and covered in bike grease staring at it going "what on earth is wrong with you!". Enter in the two Mounties heading out on patrol. Bless their souls, they decided to come over to see what on earth I was doing. We struck up a chat while one of them also took a look at my bike to see if he could figure it out too. Nope, it was beyond him. I figured oh, well.. here I go again. Time to either a) call a cab to come and pick me and my bike up - bye bye 40$, b) try to bike it back home, or c) walk it home.

To my surprise, the Mounties grabbed my bike and stuffed it in the back of the truck and told me to get in, they'd take me back to civilization - as they were headed that way. Yeah! Mounties to the Rescue! Thanks!

They dropped me off at my favorite bike shop, as I figured might as well see if I can get it fixed now rather than go home and then go back out. My bike guy Steve looked at it, took it out back and ran through all of the gears as well.

Steve: Shaking his head, "I've got good news and bad news".
Me: thinking ... well I probably already know what the bad news is .... so "let's go with good first".
Steve: "I managed to get one gear set working again - properly. The other two just keep slipping out of place .... but eventually fall into place - key word eventually".
Me: "Ok, that's better than none I guess".
Steve: "Bad news..."
Me: "Let me guess ... rebuild?"
Steve: nods
Me: Sigh.

So there we have it. My parents bike needs a derailleur rebuild. The quite amusing part is that these bikes are practically new, as they just got them before I arrived here in NB from Canadian Tire (to which Steve believes is the issue). Now all I have to do is go out and take the other one out and see if it's still doing the same thing (which I imagine it is). I guess I now know what I will be doing tomorrow while over the river .... looking at a new bike.


Matt, Kara and Hunter said...

ohhhh nice mounties!

hehe did you ride in the back behind the glass?

Kennie said...

Ride in the back behind the glass?? Only when I'm being arrested Kara :-). Got to ride up front with the gents.

Jennith said...

lol... never headed up towards Keswick - but I used to do the Maryville loop at least once or twice a week. I'm glad you were rescued, it looks like a fair hike back.

down south said...

You might want to "update" the story and let the world know that those "Canadian Tire " bikes were put together by your buddie's business partner!!