Monday, June 02, 2008

Sheesh. Another Smackdown Was Waiting To Happen

I am a pretty avid biker -- bicyclist, that is. You wouldn't necessarily know it to look at my plush torso, but I normally bike quite a lot for both transportation and fun. In the past year, I have had two major crashes, both of which I've written about here; October engendered some interesting head injuries, and in April I managed to lacerate my liver and crack some ribs. (I look pretty damned perky in the photo taken about 24 hours later, but I was still drenched with narcotics at that point.)

I'm finally sufficiently recovered from the last prang to get my nice Kaitai running again and resume commuting. I'd had lots of trouble getting the rear wheel trued up, it just seemed that no matter what I did with the spokes, I'd ride it for two blocks and it would be wobbling again. It was the first or second wheel I'd ever built, so I figured I'd just goofed somewhere.

Perhaps the goof was not entirely mine (pardon the blurry photo, click to enlarge):

Neat, huh? There are cracks like that in several places around the circumference, covering maybe 40% of it, on both sides. I don't want to believe that I missed this while working on the wheel previously, and I certainly don't even want to think about how much fun it would have been if that had decided to just let go. The Finn said "It was just waiting for your ribs to heal up."

Finished building a new wheel -- this time I used a beastly 36-hole rim whose catalog description included the phrase "I try to avoid terms like clydesdale" -- and rode in this morning.

Nothing broke.

So far as I know, anyway. I feel like I should hang one of those little yep-we're-safe signs on my bike (adapted this from


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