Suburban Assault

Posts Tagged ‘Commuting

My Crank Came Loose During My Commute To Work Last Week

with one comment

This Came Off Half Way To Work

I must admit, as an LCI, I have no excuse for this happening to me. One of the fundamental things that we teach our students is the importance of the ABC Quick Check. But, I got lazy – which got me into trouble.

Let me put some emphasis on the “C” in ABC Quick Check. “C” is for cranks, chain and cassette – essentially your bike’s drivetrain. Although not as important for safety, as “Air” and “Brakes”, the drivetrain is a very critical part of your bike’s ability to function. If you’re drivetrain isn’t working, you’re not going anywhere.

I had just finished a long ride the weekend before, where I had given the bike a complete check. Because of that, my lazy pre-commute inspection consisted of me squeezing my tires, then while rolling, spinning the pedals and doing a quick brake check.

Quite frankly, I’m not sure if I would have noticed the potential fail of my crank arm. Typically, when I perform the check on my cranks, chain and cassette, I’m just looking to see if the drivetrain rolls smoothly, not really ever torquing the crank more than a few pedal revolutions. This is usually done by hand and I would rarely pull the crank from side to side.

The signs were there from the start of my commute. As I pushed down on the left pedal, it made an incredible squeaking noise. I had recently installed my old pair of SPD clipless pedals for that previous weekend ride and I just figured that the pedal mechanism was in need of some lubrication.

As I reached the halfway point to my office (about 7.5 miles), I noticed that my left pedal was no longer squeaking. Within moments I felt it wobble. At first, I thought the pedal was coming loose off the crank, but when I looked down, I saw that it was the whole crank arm. I pulled over to inspect it and attempt a quick repair. I soon discovered that the bolt that held it in place required an 8mm allen wrench – something I don’t carry in my tool pouch.

My backup plan was to hobble to some nearby auto-repair garage and borrow the tool. That would have worked if it wasn’t so early in the morning, and all of the shops weren’t still closed.

The only thing I could do was push the crank onto the spindle as hard as I could and then thumb tighten the bolt. Because of that, I couldn’t really put any pressure onto that pedal. Fortunately, with my SPD clipless pedals, I was able to do most of the spinning with my right foot, while resting my left foot on the loose crank’s pedal. I had to stop every mile or so, to push the crank arm back on and re-tighten the bolt. Eventually, I made it to the office.

During my lunch break, my buddy ran me up to Home Depot, where I was able to purchase the correct tool. With that, I was able to repair the crank and get home problem-free. That day, I learned that I need to do a more thorough inspection of my bike before a long commute. A few moments before the ride can save you from bigger problems down the road – a lesson I’ll be sure to share with my students.


Written by dickdavid

May 28, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Half Way To My Summer Commuting Goal

with 3 comments

Gasoline Transport

Last year, my goal was to replace some car trips with my bicycle to save a tank of gas. The only miles that counted towards that goal were those used for transport and not recreation. That simple challenge of 360 miles was achieved with many extra to spare.

I don’t bike commute every day, but every little bit helps.

My new goal for this summer* is to double it. I have been working towards replacing 720 miles of car driving with bicycle commuting – and as of last week, I’ve passed the halfway mark. Of course, summer is only going to get hotter for the remainder of my goal.

*I’m using the term of ‘summer’ loosely – since I was reminded that it had just started a few days ago.  My true riding season started at the end of April.

Written by dickdavid

June 25, 2012 at 5:59 am

Sunrise. Sunset.

leave a comment »

Sunrise Commute

Sunrise Commute

As the summer comes to a close and the temperatures drop to tolerable levels (below 100), the days are starting to get shorter. Catching the sunrise and sunset on my work commute makes this my favorite time of year. The lighting of the day seems to be more colorful and the air is a bit thicker (which took me by surprise trying to cut through it on my ride yesterday). I actually wished my commute was a bit longer.

If it weren’t for the remnants of smoke – carried over from the Austin wildfires – I would have appreciated those long, deep breaths after a fun ride home. Still, I feel fortunate that we are safe and far from any fire threat to our homes. I hope the folks in Austin get some heavy rain soon.

Sunset Commute

Sunset Commute

Written by dickdavid

September 8, 2011 at 5:39 am

Another Bike To Work Day

leave a comment »

I did another bike commute to work today. This time it was for Bike To Work Week.

I managed to shave off a few minutes from my last commute, but it still eats up a lot of my family and home time. I was able to leave the office early today (read: on time) which got me home about 20 minutes later than with my car commute (when I leave the office late). As good as this accomplishment makes me feel, I wish I worked closer to home.

My biggest hurdle is the intersection of Plano Parkway and the Dallas North Tollway. Car congestion, high speed and irrational driving occurs there the most. I’m going to look into an alternate route for Friday, but I don’t feel very optimistic.

Here are some pics from the commute home:

Bridge On Preston Over The PGB Tollway

North End Of The Preston Ridge Trail

Other Cyclist On The Preston Ridge Trail

As I Entered Richardson, They Were Leaving

Familiar Friend - The Red Line

Written by dickdavid

May 18, 2010 at 10:04 pm