A Monologue with the Æther

Cycling to Work

A week from last Friday, I published a piece titled, Grab Bag, wherein I discussed some issues with my bicycle. My chain kept misbehaving and the culprit was a misaligned rivet. I failed at relinking the chain. The poor job led to an outer plate having the pin hole stretched out. This stretching cause the link to spread apart. When I arrived at work that Friday, I took the time to really examine the links and diagnose the issue. I had to remove the worn outer link and an inner link to fix the problem, shrinking the chain slightly.

Another problem that I was having involved ignoring a known issue: tire pressure. I was riding on tires in which the air pressure had fallen well below the minimum inflation rating. Despite knowing that the tires were under-inflated, I kept riding. This led to uneven wear on the rear tire since it carries more weight than the front. It also demonstrated succinctly the need for properly inflated tires. Along with the increased probability of receiving a flat, under-inflation was slowing me down. I was putting much more effort into riding the 9 miles to work. Effort that was even worse returning home given that I live on the north west side of Stockton, so I was riding home into the prevailing wind which typically is blowing 8 to 10 mph. The day I decided to inflate my tires, I cut 8 minutes off my ride to work and felt that much less effort had gone into the ride i.e., my legs felt less tired even though I had ridden faster.

Lesson learned: check tire pressure regularly and inflate as necessary.