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Daily Archives: May 17, 2021

“Why Does My Bike Make a Sound Like Slowly Crinkled Aluminum Foil?” (You’re Not Going to Believe This!)

On my big road trip with my buddies, on the second day my Venge started making a crazy noise when I would climb slowly in the easiest few gears. A little like slowly crinkled aluminum foil… though a little more “clicky”. I thought it was a little cable stretch causing the rear derailleur to be a little out of adjustment – as if the chain was clicking against the cassette slightly.

I’d pull over to the side of the road and give it an adjustment, then find it didn’t work a little further up the road. I lived with the noise but it gnawed at me a little. As long as I was in the harder, say seven gears, it was relatively quiet. It rained overnight Saturday so we had a wet start Sunday morning, though it wasn’t horrible. The noise was still there on the climbs, though. I adjusted my rear derailleur one last time Sunday, to no avail.

The bikes were slightly messy after the ride, but we had “get-home-itis” and simply packed up the bikes to clean them after we got home. I unpacked everything, including the camper, and put everything away and did a load of laundry before tending to the bike.

I typically use a mild hand soap on a soft, microfiber cloth to get the dirt off, then follow with a clean, damp towel to clean everything up… it was with that damp cloth, going after the rear hub while I was turning the rear wheel that I heard the little “tink-tink-tink-tink” sound I’d heard for the last two days. Then I saw the culprit.

A small, dried worm wrapped around my spokes where they cross… where it perfectly hit the chain and cassette teeth all the way around and “tink’ed” against the spokes as the wheel went around. I laughed out loud as I broke the shriveled, dried worm in half and walked to the kitchen to throw the carcass in the garbage.

And just like that, my Venge is quiet again.

I Love My Bike!!! Part 3,261

And so it was. I left work Thursday around 2 and headed for home to finalize packing and get on the road. Our late Spring road trip began with a drive up to my second favorite cycling haunt. Mike drove with my pop-up camper hooked to the back of his pickup truck. I’d picked up the site rent and Mike paid for the gas to get there and home.

A little more than 3-1/2 hours’ drive time and we were on site, setting up our camper. Twenty minutes later we were powered up and good to go. I slept like a brick that night. I did wake up for an hour at my normal 3:30 am but I dozed off and managed to stay down till after 6 (!). We ate some breakfast (Chuck made oatmeal), prepped the bikes, I took a shower, and we waited for it to warm up a little bit.

We rolled out shortly after 9 am to mostly sunny skies and temps in the low 50’s (11 C) and a mild breeze. What unfolded was one of the more enjoyable rides I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying, ever.

While we did some sight seeing, it wasn’t all fun and games as we entered Pierce Stocking National Scenic Drive… there are some massive climbs in that park including one that hits a lovely 22% monster that will leave the best panting at the top. I used every last gear I had (and wished I had one more).

The weather was perfect, with a light breeze, abundant sunshine and mild temperatures. And I ignored my phone all morning until getting to lunch in Glen Arbor and taking care of a few things that needed attention.

We stopped at the Cherry Republic restaurant and chose a table outdoors in the sun to eat our lunch and spin cycling yarns of days past and to come. Mike had chili, while Chuck and I partook in the pulled pork sammich (it was fantastic). I also enjoyed one of my favorites at CR, a cherry root beer. After lunch was done, we had a long journey back to camp and a whole lot of climbing to get out of Glen Arbor. Oh how I love a good climb after a pulled pork sandwich. It was magnificent being able to taste my lunch three or four more times up the hill.

Of course, what goes up, also comes down. We had some great descents that were just fantastic and I ended up with a top speed in excess of 47-mph (75-km/h).

We spent more than four hours on the road and covered 76-1/2 miles, climbing 3,261 feet… not massive as climbing goes, but considering our normal routes are less than 800 feet of up, we did some pedal dancing.

Dinner was wonderful, though the place had been devastated by COVID and had to cut down their menu and raise their prices to make it through the limits imposed by our governor. Still, with COVID winding down now that the majority of the state has had at least their first shot, it was great to eat out and the food was great.

We headed back to camp and I set up a movie to watch before falling to sleep. I did a very good job of impersonating a log. I slept like a baby.