May 20, 2008

5/20/08 Kansas City, MO - USA

Spent most of the morning working on the bike down at ACME. This last week the bike hasn't been acting right at all. There is a loud metal crunching chain skip when I suddenly put pressure on the drivetrain, such as starting from a stop sign. Christy thought the problem was in the hub itself, so we took it apart (which is pretty easy on Phil Wood hubs, maybe too easy). After cleaning it up, a few of the pawls seemed to have burrs on the edges, one pawl didn't seem to raise up to engage and the teeth didn't look that great either. Those are the parts inside the freewheel mechanism that makes it coast when you are not pedaling, and spinning when you are. But I guess after 20,000-miles of loaded bike touring, you have to expect the moving parts to wear out.

The red arrow points to the pawls

We finished taking the hub apart, cleaned every piece, then after greasing it up a bit, put the whole thing back together. And believe it or not, that loud metal crunching chain skip got worse. Well, at least we think we know where the problem is. I contacted Phil Wood about replacing the pawls but I'm not even sure that will be enough to solve the problem. If that doesn't fix it, then the whole hub is toast. Just in case that is what happens, I contacted Peter White Cycles about pricing to get a new rear wheel (hub, spokes, rim) built in time for Canada. Peter built these current wheels I have and even after all that much travel, they are still true. He builds a great wheel. Unfortunately, prices these days are steep. I'm guessing a replacement rear wheel is going to be at least $400. I'll let ya' know.

Decided I really needed to get on other bike and clear my head a bit. Took a ride down towards the Plaza to get some lunch. Again, my other favorite waitress, Rachael, bought me lunch today. They take such good care of me at Minsky's. Started to read a new book called "The Art of Being Kind" by Stefen Einhorn. Another beautiful day to ride, blue sky with the sun shinning. Got all the way downtown to ACME again before heading back up the Main St hill to home.

On day two of running. [laugh] But I was so intent on getting this second run in that I completely forgot I was supposed to meet some coworkers from my Baptist Hospital days at a nearby brewery. I went anyway but at three hours late, I didn't expect anyone to be there. That really bums me out. Deb, sorry. I sure wish I could have seen everyone from the good-old-days.

Later I was going to get new running shoes but ended up renting Juno instead. I didn't see it in the theaters, but I should have. It was great.

I did get some good news today. One my Malaga-Spanish-language-school friends, Eva is on vacation in New York. Besides being on holiday, she's celebrating passing her exams to get into the Austrian diplomatic corps. That's great news.

Well, saw my brother Tom today and he asked if I wanted to work tomorrow (he has a remodeling business). Heck yes, because I could use a little bit more money to pay for that new bike wheel.

Only 18 more days left!