Monday, July 16, 2012

Lots of Commuting Rides
(or, How I Almost Lost My Front Wheel)

Since getting back from our trip to Vermont, I've ridden just over a hundred miles (almost all of which to and from work).  Most of it hasn't been too exciting, but it's still a nice way to start and end a work day.  I modified my to work extra loop to add a couple of very short but quite steep hills.  The more the merrier, right?

Last Saturday I went for a ride after I put the monkeys to bed.  At about 9 miles into the ride I was going down a hill when suddenly the bike started to wobble.  I pulled it over to a stop and took a look at the bike.  Everything seemed fine. As I was already started up the next hill, I decided to walk the bike up and start riding again.  I went just over a mile and had started climbing (the dreaded) Flax Hill road when my front tire locked up.

I lifted the bike over the guard rail for the sidewalk and flipped the bike so I could take a proper look.  The front wheel had come loose and was basically jammed against the frame.  Definitely a little scary.  I have been using quick release wheels on bicycles for about 30 years off and on (probably a lot more off than on since I wasn't riding much until recently) and I've never had any such problem.  I had taken the wheels off the bike when transporting it to and from Vermont, but I had been riding the bike for a week since putting it back together.  I don't know if I really just didn't tighten it enough or if it got bumped at the bike rack at work or what.  In any case, the moral of the story is, please check your quick release levers regularly to make sure they are good and tight.

I made sure the wheel was properly attached and safely rode the rest of the way home (without climbing Flax Hill road the second time).

This weekend Kate and I went out for a ride with the kids.  We didn't leave early enough in the morning, however, and it ended up being a bit too hot (and humid), I left Kate and one monkey by the side of the road so I could go home and get the van with the other monkey and pick them up.

The scenery here in Connecticut is much nicer than what we had in Illinois, although not quite as picturesque as Vermont.  But since it's boring to read a post with no pictures, I'll leave you with a shot of the sun rising I took this morning on my way to work.

A view overlooking the Long Island Sound as the sun rises taken on Bell Island in Rowayton, CT.


  1. I had a similar problem earlier this front skewer was loose and I heard the disc brake making an odd sound as the wheel wobbled a bit. Luckily I stopped before there was any damage, or before the wheel got too loose.

  2. I'am happy that you managed to fix it without any accidents. My front skewer for a mountain bike I used to ride also once came loose, but I noticed it before any thing bad happened.

    On my home made cruzbike copy, I use a hub with nuts and bolt instead of quick release skewers. It's more difficult to remove the wheel though, but it's cheaper and more secure.