January 2, 2014 by welshcyclist
The forecast was good, temperatures were not to drop any lower than 2 degrees centigrade (what’s the difference to Celsius? ), so I decided to cycle in to work. I had checked my tyres earlier in the day, and had used my new bicycle work stand to lube my chain etc.. I received the work stand as a Christmas present from my wife and three sons, brilliant!!
Well it works a treat, and it was fantastic to fiddle with this and that, on the bike, without the need to manually support it at the same time. Being able to move the pedals and look at the gears in motion makes adjustment so much easier, but still they are not right, they still slip or do not move in the mid range. I only use the middle ring on my front triple, and noticed that the chain was rubbing the front derailleur cage. I decided to move the cage, tightening or loosening the cable, has long not been an option for me. I was able to do so, with the bike on the work stand, and my new tools. I simply loosened the mounting on my down tube, and twisted it away from the chain and re-tightened it. No problem!
But I digress, I left earlier than usual, because I wanted to cycle along the seafront at Aberavon en route to work. By 16.30 I was at Baglebrook, riding along the cycle path, when I was almost thrown over the handlebars of my Pioneer. It was already pretty dark, my front and rear lights were on, and I had to turn the bike upside down to find out what had happened. Immediately, it became apparent what the problem was, somehow a large stick had been picked up by my front wheel, then jammed between the tyre and mudguard, and as it turned with the wheel came to a juddering halt between the mudguard and the brake block, twisting, buckling and splitting the mudguard. I was able to extricate the stick, but it was much harder getting the mudguard out. Above is the picture of the front wheel upside down.
After a fait bit of cursing, twisting and shaking, I managed to get it back into position, albeit it still rubbed constantly against my brand new winter tyre. Fortunately, I only had a couple of miles to go.
During my break at work, I was able to survey the problem further. The mudguard seemed to be a write off, so the only answer was to dismantle it and take it off. I had to ride home next morning without a front mudguard.
The forecast was inaccurate, when I left work there was a severe frost, with puddles frozen over…..gulp! I hate ice, three falls too many on the stuff……it hurts!
But I was committed now, and had to rely on my new winter tyres. Of course, I avoided the ice as much as possible, and took it easy, but the only time I felt a slide, was when I put my cycling shoe to the ground (it was a smooth kerbstone). Unusually, the further I travelled up the Neath valley, homeward, the milder it got. However, without the front mudguard, my toes were frozen to the point of hurting by the time I got into the warmth of our kitchen.
I’ve had another look at the mudguard, and hopefully I might be able to salvage it, it won’t be pretty, but I don’t want to spend on a new set. Or perhaps, the old ones off my Carrera Subway 8 will fit? We’ll see. Cheers.