As you, dear readers, may know, I'm planning on riding three more centuries (or so) this season. That requires more training (or at least maintenance) time on the bike. Why, you may ask yourself, have I been so quiet on this blog, if I have to maintain ~100 miles/week to be ready for the next ride in a a few weeks?
Well, to be brief, it's not my fault. Not entirely.
To be less brief, I was stymied by two (three) facts:
1. Tuesday-Friday last week I had a muscle spasm in my upper back, and I could hardly sit, much less ride.
2. My bike needed adjustment (see my previous post, especially the part about ghost shifting).
(3. Although my back has been better for half a week, what with classes and dogsitting and not getting a decent night's sleep, I've been too preoccupied, which is to say lazy, to get to the shop)
However, all that has been remedied. The back, just as suddenly as it struck, got better (OK OK, so there are twinges here and there when I run or walk or carry things, but it's better, all right?). The bike, $70 later, got fixed.
What was wrong with the bike? It was not, as we thought, a cable tension issue (no surprise, since it couldn't be fixed via barrel adjustment). Neither was it a bent hanger (also no surprise, since I hadn't dropped the bike, and the problem struck after 85 miles of nearly constant riding). Instead, as I had initially suspected, I had jacked the chain. Recall: I dropped the chain at about mile 85. Recall again that it got royally jammed up in the crank. And, finally, recall that, immediately after it had gotten unjammed, the chain dropped (and jammed) again. It was then that the problem started. During those two chain drops, I bent at least one link beyond repair, and replacing the most offensive link did not solve the problem. So, I got a new chain (and, with it, adjustment of the front derailleur to avoid chain drops in the future). And, for good measure, they checked the hanger and there wasn't any problem there.
Now I can ride to school again, though yesterday's walks to and from were quite pleasant, and I can get back to training. Woooooooooohoooo!