I dropped the Big Dummy off at Ride Bicycles this morning to get a chainguard. For quick projects we hang out in the fish store next door, but this was a bigger job so we walked to nearby Cowen Park. We’ve only visited this park by bike previously and while I left my helmet at the shop, the boys kept theirs on so I arrived at the park on foot with helmeted boys. They ran straight for the zip line so I must have looked like an overprotective mother worried about play structure head injuries.
Another kid showed up in a helmet (though he arrived by bike) so they weren’t alone in their fashion statement for long. And they eventually got too hot and removed helmets and jackets, but not before some “dangerous” stunts on the swings.
We returned to the bike shop to bad news–the chainguard wouldn’t fit. They have a bash guard that will work, but it’s smaller than my current big ring so I’d have to swap that out for a smaller one. I left the shop thinking that was a good idea, but Mr. Family Ride later told me he thought I should leave the original ring set as-is to keep the bike running best. I wasn’t convinced, but after reading the chainguard entry in Sheldon Brown’s glossary, I’m thinking about giving up my quest for a chainguard and rather work on my whining about rolling up my pant leg:
Chainwheel discs, unlike the above styles of chainguard, are usable on bicycles with derailer gearing and multiple chainwheels. They are primarily intended to prevent soiled clothing, since the front derailer tends to keep trouser cuffs from being snagged. Unfortunately, many chainwheel discs interfere with obtaining the best possible front derailer adjustment. Should the chain become derailed on a bike with a chainwheel disc, it may become seriously wedged between the disc and the large chainring. Chainwheel discs are rarely found on high-quality bicycles.
It won’t be such a pain when the weather warms up a bit more and I don’t have to wear long pants and maybe a solution will present itself before next winter.
After shoving my pants back into my boots, we headed to Wallingford Playfield for the monthly Spokespeople ride. I’d been warned we’d check out the 41st Street runnel on the way to the rose garden and considered taking a detour to avoid the hassle, but in the end opted to stay with the group and see how bad it is with a heavy bike. The kids walked up the stairs and someone helped carry the back of my bike (as well as his own bike) while I tried to keep my front wheel on track. I think it wouldn’t be quite so hard if there were runnels on both sides of the stairs so we could walk on the left sides of our bikes as we’re used to. Either way, I won’t be back to the runnel.
There were no roses yet, but there will be soon. It was still a beautiful day to be in the garden.
Then we headed downhill to the Theo Chocolate factory where I let the boys eat so many samples they got a bit crazy. I can only imagine how fast they would have pedaled us back uphill if they were sharing the workload. Some day…