Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Waiting on parts...

I didn't realize how much I enjoy riding my bike. I mean I hadn't really been on one for so many years that it can't be that important to me. Well it is and having mechanical problems requiring me to wait on parts from the manufacturer has shown me that. I truly prefer riding to walking, that is 100% certain.

Since my bike has been down, I have been walking in the mornings to keep the exercise and training moving forward. I'm definitely walking a lot more than I had planned at this stage of my training for Pumpkinman, but it has to all be good. I don't think a week or two without my bike will really hurt me in the long run as far as training goes, but I sure do miss riding.

My problem with walking is that it just feels so slow! I'm walking at a decent clip - 3.3 to 3.4 miles an hour, but compared to 12+ on my bike, its crawling! OK, sure I could start running, but I'm not quite there yet. I do throw in a few short stretches of jogging during my walk, but even that feels like plodding along.

I'm trying to figure out if the problem with my bike is a single defective part, or a symptom of abuse due to my size riding the bike. Maybe it wasn't made for the daily riding with 400 lbs on its saddle. Time will tell. The problem is that the retaining ring for the rear gears on the axle has split allowing play in the gears because they are no longer tight on the axle. I can see the part and even tried tightening it, but since its split its a no go.

The warranty department at Pacific Cycle (they bought Schwinn) was great. once I had the serial number and date number from my bike, Dawn decided to ship me not just the broken part, but a brand new entire rear wheel and gear assembly just in case something else got trashed in there. That was much more than I was expecting. Let's just hope this was a singular defect in the one part and not a symptom of larger issues looming.

Now, this lull in the riding has caused me to start looking at Craig's List at the used bikes section to see if there might be something for me to ride as an alternate. I have found a few interesting listings in a reasonable (cheap) price range. The problem is the timing of things and not really knowing if what I'm looking at is a reliable bike. So I have been afraid to pull the trigger on getting one. Add to that the fact that I don't know which type to get - should I get a road bike? a mountain bike? A hybrid? Do I want suspension or not? How many gears? What size frame? So many questions that I just don't have the answers to right now.

I am going to wait until the weekend to make a decision. If I haven't received the parts by then, I'm going to seriously look at what's available for little money and probably buy myself a second bike.

Oh how I miss the wind in my hair....