Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Be careful out there. Yesterday, my goal of riding to work for the remainder of June and all of July almost came to an unfortunate end. I was in a position I shouldn't have been, I had started to pass slowing traffic and was coming up on a white Nissan X-Terra. I started to slow, he slowed more, then he signaled that he intended to turn right to get some $4 gas. I stood up, grabbed a handful of brake.

'Lets take a quick break from this story to talk about setting up a new bike'

Do use a new cable. Do make sure the lever is secure on the bar. Do make sure the cable and housing allow smooth and easy travel. Do make sure contact of the good condition brake pads hit the rim correctly. And finally do make sure the cable is secured adequately to the brake caliper, then double check it.

Usually find out when you have a brake problem it is too late, because you are trying to squeeze out the maximum performance in a single moment.

Back to the story. My brake cable slips and I ride up now even with the rear wheel of the clueless X-Terra owner. Trying to slow, I am banging my bars on the side of the vehicle and making a sudden right turn with my elbow and shoulder firmly pressed on the X-Terra as we do the dance through his right turn.

I left a black plastic skid mark on the X-Terra, and the driver remarked, "I didn't even see you there". He was not concerned about his car and I was embarrassed about my lack of attentiveness, so we called it even and continued about our own trips. I did however take the extra 20 seconds to tighten my brake cable. Then I checked it again. Ride On.

1 comment:

leon said...

The final item on your set-up checklist should be "Squeeze the brake lever as hard as you can, as if you are in an emergency stop." This will test your whole set up and pre-stress the cables/guides such that you can immediately readjust the barrel connectors to the new state and have perfectly adjusted brakes right from the start.