Compared to last winter, this winter has been extremely mild--I never used the snow tires! But I’ve also ridden a little less frequently after running into some maintenance trouble with both of my bikes.
|The Tudek bike path this past winter|
At some point, I broke something in the Superba’s hub, but we’re not sure exactly how I did it. I noticed a scraping noise going up one of the big hills, and the next time I rode I noticed that each pedal stroke felt like it wasn’t engaging from the top of the stroke (12 o’clock) through a quarter of the rotation (about 3 or 4 o’clock). Then I noticed that the coaster brake didn’t always work. (I took it in to the shop and they said it needed a new pinion.) It wouldn’t take to long to get fixed, but the part had to be shipped. In the meantime, I rode the Peugeot.
At the time, there was snow on the ground and along the paths, and for some reason I didn’t think twice about riding right through it. The problem was that the Peugeot lacks a chain case and an internal hub, leaving those moving parts exposed to the elements. Normally this isn’t a problem, but I noticed that some snow adheres to these parts if you ride through it. Unfortunately, after about a week of this, I couldn’t shift anymore, and I think its because rust built up in the derailleur or in the cable housing. So both bikes were out of commission, and I was getting a ride to and from campus for about three weeks this winter.
|My winter gear including waterproof pants and waterproof overshoes, which a rarely had to use this season|
Now that both bikes are fixed, and there is (currently) no snow on the ground, I’m really excited about spring! Last year, spring was probably my favorite season.
|Picture from last spring|
Also, I made a change to the Superba. On flat surfaces and moderate hills, the Superba is fantastic: it is stable, comfortable and easy to ride. But two hills on my commute were really difficult with the current gearing and setup. Not only was it really, really hard to pedal up those hills, but standing up on the Superba is really uncomfortable for some reason. Fortunately, the local bike shop was able to solve this problem. Freeze Thaw put a new larger cassette on the Sturmey Archer hub, which made the lowest gear easier. Now it is much easier to ride every day.