Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Last week-end was the Ottawa-Kingston bike tour.. aka the Rideau Lakes cycle tour.

It's a 360km bike ride spread out over two days. 180km from Kingston to Ottawa and next day back again.

Why is it the last 20km are always completely brutal? When we past the 45km to go mark I felt fine. Even when we past the last 20km mark I felt fine.. but then we got this massive headwind and I just died. Anyways, we did alright in the end. It also only happens on the second day. The first day the last few kilometers are always fine.. Must be some sort of bike-tour-law-of-physics or something :-).

On the last day of the tour I got two flats (the second one happened literally a few hundred meters from the finish. It was a relatively slow leak so I just leaned progressively forward until I had to get off with about 100 meters to go.) and my chain broke. Oh how I hate it when the chain breaks.. My chain has now broken twice. Time to get a new chain. It was lucky my dad had brought with him some extra chain links because I'd already taken 2 out last time and needed to take another 4 out for the repair (well, three links really, but it was easier just t take 4 out). He brought exactly 6 links so it worked out well.

The problem with getting a new chain is that you also need to get a rear cassette. If you don't, the old cassette will damage the new chain and wear it out very quickly. Since I broke my wheel two weeks before the ride and did the ride on a lender, I also need a new wheel. The pessimist here would suggest I actually could use a new bike but I don't think so. I don't like throwing out old equipment, especially if it's not working. I guess that means I'd rather get it working and then throw it out, which doesn't make any sense, but I've checked and there's no law that says I have to make sense so I'm going to stick with my preference. :-).. Not that I am going to throw it out. I'm sure it could do another hundred million miles so the plan is: get all the new parts I need to bring the bike to working order and then keep riding it.

One important thing I learned on this tour: taking two spare inner tubes is good. However, before you do, make sure they are the right size for your wheel. An inner tube with a schrader valve won't work on a presta valve rim... Also 35mm wide is a little too big for a 28mm tire.. doh! Canadian tire sold me the wrong tube! Right box with wrong tube!

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