Friday, January 6, 2017

A Snowy Thursday Commute

It's been the better part of 8 months since I revamped my GT Outpost. After its face-lift, I promptly hung it from the ceiling of the shop, all shiny and newly beautified, and haven't touched it since. Pretty sad, but I just haven't had much of an opportunity to ride it. My Peugeot Course is my daily commuter and my Panasonic Touring Deluxe has now become by weekend ride. And so my old mountain bike sat neglected in the garage. That is, until yesterday.

A couple inches of snow fell yesterday morning and, with the streets covered, I decided that a mountain bike would be my best option for a powdery morning commute. I pulled my GT Outpost down out of storage, bolted pedals onto the cranks, and set off for work. A block or so down the road, I shifted onto the big chainring and nearly immediately noticed the chain jumping - especially when I mashed down on the pedals to pick up speed. When I arrived at work, I quickly discovered the problem: the bottom bracket spindle was loose inside the housing and wobbling pretty badly.

When I got home that evening, I pulled the bottom bracket out and replaced it with a used one I had stowed away in the shop. The cranks are spinning nicely now. Turns out the rebuilt Truvativ bottom bracket that I installed on the bike in April was a piece of shit. So I replaced it with a cheap Shimano that I've had for years and simply refuses to die.

Despite the mechanical problems, it wasn't a bad commute. Since the snow was still fresh and not too deep, I got plenty of grip with the 2.0 inch Bontrager knobbies that are on my mountain bike. I meandered over to the Jordan Valley Greenway and took the trail for about half my trip, which gave me a nice respite from riding in traffic in poor road conditions. It didn't take me much longer than usual to make the trip from home to work, even with a short stop on the Greenway to snap some pictures. Not too bad for a frigid snowy Thursday morning.

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