Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Recovery Day, Food for Thought, and Technical Tip with Disclaimer

“Day off” for a cyclist, even one with an uber-flexible student life, is pretty much a misnomer. We all know it is code for: blitz on work, run errands, clean the house, do laundry, make phone calls during daylight hours, pay bills, etc. Yesterday I did schoolwork non-stop from 6:30 to 4:00, to the point of absolute exhaustion. But I was again amazed at how much I can get done when not exhausted from pedaling. Recovery scores again though, since I got off the trainer just now to news that one of today’s classes got cancelled, making my epic Tuesday much less epic. So now I am listening to On Point’s “The Soaring Price of Food,” having read this interesting story on the origin of muscle fatigue and done some quality stretching. I haven’t read it all yet but came across this great essay title, “My Other Car is a Bright Green City.” (And not trying to be high and mighty here - I ridiculously drive around in a 4wd station wagon, drive a lot every year.) Yesterday there was no way I was riding outside, with temperatures in the low ‘20s and tons of wind. This morning I found out a friend rode 5hrs; today he is doing 6hrs, again with temps in the low 20s! Power to him. Maybe I need to be tougher. Now for the technical tip: I have now sheered off the rear derailleur shift cable of my DuraAce 10-speed shifter at the point of its entry into the hood/shifter four times. (It's the center of the photo.) The shifting starts to go bad, then all of a sudden you are stuck in the 12. It’s a weird problem, and the cable head then can get stuck in the shifter. The best explanation I can find is this: that it’s a consequence of leaving your bike in an easy cog when not riding, since this stresses the cable and leaves it in a highly bent position. I am trying to remember to shift into the smallest cog after riding, just in case this helps.


josh said...

that happened to me twice during CX season (cable shearing and getting stuck in the shifter)...once leaving me to ride the last 4 laps of a race in the 42X12 (can you say ouch?). Admittedly I never thought about looking at which gear I left my bike in (though now I will look), but a solution that did work for me was to replace the plastic cable end with a brass one. Not all shops carry the brass cable ends, and they are far more pricey than the plastic or alu ones, but they prevent your cable from going through or into the shifter...problem solved. Cheers.

Anna Milkowski said...

Thanks for the tip! I'll try the old-school cables next time since I'm not really certain about this leave-it gear solution. Actually I did learn this season that you need to use old-school brass-tipped cables for SRAM shifters. Cross in the 42x12 sounds truly brutal.