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Tuesday, September 10

Fissure of Men

Life.

Death.

In between, maintenance.

Or in the case of myself, not so much.  At least not as much or as often as prescribed.

That's a very new PC-1 chain on a very worn out cog and chainring that now sounds a lot like an old battleship pulling up anchor with every pedal stroke.  I let it happen... because I just didn't pay attention.

I had mounted up a smaller cog over a year ago.

I dropped a link out of the chain.

This meant that where I'm used to seeing the wheel in the rear dropouts when the chain needs to be replaced was no longer a valid visual cue.  I have two chain checkers on my work bench that are quite handy.  I used neither in time to save this situation.  The chain was worn well beyond the limits, thus destroying the happy teeth that should have had many more quiet rides left in them.

Tarck bikes require so little attention.  Put air in the tires... when it starts to feel like you're pedaling underwater.  Rebuild the hubs and bottom bracket every two years... whether they need it or not.  Lube the chain... when the noise is too much to bear.  Replace the chain... before you ruin expensive toothy bits.

Speaking of maintenance, and the lack of doing so properly...
I have a large callous on the ball of my left foot.  Back in 1988, I ran the Cleveland Marathon.  Somewhere around the 18 mile mark, my callous split open.  I went to the cross country trainer at YSU after the race, and he told me I needed to "maintain" my callous.  Shaving, cutting, moisturizing.

I've dealt with this issue ever since.  It usually cracks open at least once a year, often times during a stage race when I don't have the requisite tools for maintenance... due to my own personal lack of foresight to pack them.  I thought maybe this year would be different.  I've made it through three stage races already without even a hint of the crack returning.

Until this past weekend.

I thought I had done a good job keeping up with it, but Sunday I was staring into the crack at the exposed red meat.  Ewww.  Grab the toe nail clippers, tiny scissors, the nasty file looking thing, some Vaseline...

Which made me realize something.  Does everyone own one jar of Vaseline for life?  I don't remember buying this jar, yet I always remember having it.

So anyways, I'm leaving for this awesome trip to Steamboat Springs in just two days.  Lotsa riding and walking aboot town on the itinerary.  The Pie RN, being the gentle, caring soul that she is, bought me some Liquid Bandage which I applied as soon as she returned home from the drug store.  I didn't know that it was more than just glue, and what a joy it was to discover that it had antiseptic properties as well.  The raw, red meat part told me as much as soon as I globbed it on my gaping fissure.  Joy.  

Routine maintenance.

It's not my thing, man.  

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've got a 'tub of vaseline and 3 packages of plastic-wrap' per week habit. More during the holidays.

AdamB said...

Routine Maintenence.
"It's not my Bag(Balm) Baby..."

wv= fcaphag 1248

Anonymous said...

Your left foot is fucking gross!

PC-1 chain = cheap POS! I think they make them out of rubber bands.