• 04-22-2004
    LSchoux
    Need Help Quickly - Removing Pedals
    Hi,

    I am currently packing my Trek 1200 for shipping (in one of these special bike boxes) and have trouble removing the pedals. Actually I have not started yet because I am somewhat scared that I may not put them back together properly.

    I am going on a weekend trip and only take basic tools with me.

    QUESTION: What tools do I need to remove Shimano PD-A515 pedals from a Tiagra crank ? I just checked the Shimano website and they say a 15 mm spanner. I would suspect that I need an allen wrench as well to keep the backside of the screw in place.

    Will I be able to put the pedal on without problem in a motel room on the road somewhere, in order ro be able to hammer on the pedals as I am used to (with all my 81 kilos) ?

    THANKS for a quick reply... Need to pack the bike by 6pm tonight :D
  • 04-22-2004
    TurboTurtle
    Easy...
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LSchoux
    Hi,

    I am currently packing my Trek 1200 for shipping (in one of these special bike boxes) and have trouble removing the pedals. Actually I have not started yet because I am somewhat scared that I may not put them back together properly.

    I am going on a weekend trip and only take basic tools with me.

    QUESTION: What tools do I need to remove Shimano PD-A515 pedals from a Tiagra crank ? I just checked the Shimano website and they say a 15 mm spanner. I would suspect that I need an allen wrench as well to keep the backside of the screw in place.

    Will I be able to put the pedal on without problem in a motel room on the road somewhere, in order ro be able to hammer on the pedals as I am used to (with all my 81 kilos) ?

    THANKS for a quick reply... Need to pack the bike by 6pm tonight :D

    The 15mm wrench is all you need. Be sure it is thin enough to fit between the pedal and the crank arm. Normal wrenches are not. Most pedals also will take a hex wrench on the back side of the crank arm. This is generally easier to carry than a pedal wrench. You do not need both. Important - the left pedal is reverse thread. It is removed and installed "backwards". There will be an L on it someplace to tell which is which. When installing, be sure you get it started straight. You should be able to turn it with your fingers. If it requires a wrench right away, it is probably cross-threaded. After you remove them today, put a very small amount of grease on the threads. A baggy will keep everything else from getting greasy.

    Hope you're packing for a good ride. Enjoy.

    TF
  • 04-22-2004
    Keeping up with Junior
    Take the 15mm spanner
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TurboTurtle
    ...Most pedals also will take a hex wrench on the back side of the crank arm. This is generally easier to carry than a pedal wrench. You do not need both...

    TT has it right, you don't need both. However, since you are somewhat inexperienced with bike maintenance/assembly I would suggest you use the spanner. Sometimes pedals can be a bit hard to remove and even hammering for a weekend (in the rain maybe) can be enough to make them hard to remove. Now an experienced mechanic will know some tricks like using a cheater bar, etc. to make a hex wrench work, but for you take the spanner.
  • 04-22-2004
    LSchoux
    Thanks folks
    ...and off to the bike shop I go to get a spanner :D

    Thanks folks for the help.

    And yes the ride will be a memorable one... Will jet from Montreal to San Antonio and ride around Canyon Lake, Devil's Backbone - area. Gonna have fun in the Texas Sun :D

    Will let you know if all worked out when I get back next week.
  • 04-22-2004
    Mike Prince
    Make sure you get the right wrench
    Make sure you get a pedal wrench, not a cone wrench. Typically, a pedal wrench is thicker (1/8 - 1/4 inch or so) and longer (a foot) to gain leverage. If you use a thin cone wrench by accident, you probably will ruin the tool and not loosen the pedal.

    Anyway, if it were me, I'd use the 6mm hex wrench, easier to carry and you probably already have one. Just remember that the force to remove the pedal is towards the back of the bike on both sides. So if you have the wrench pointing up - that is, if your bike is upright and the open end of the wrench is pointing down and is engaged with the axle flats (or the unused end of the hex wrench is pointing up), apply force towards the rear of the bike. Watch out for the large chainring when you do the drive side pedal. If you use a shortish hex wrench, slip a section of pipe over the unused end and you will gain lots of leverage.

    This sounds easy (maybe), but I've seen even experienced wrenches that are in a hurry struggle to remove pedals only to realize that they are applying tightening force.
  • 04-22-2004
    53T
    Whoa boy
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by LSchoux
    QUESTION: What tools do I need to remove Shimano PD-A515 pedals from a Tiagra crank ? I just checked the Shimano website and they say a 15 mm spanner. I would suspect that I need an allen wrench as well to keep the backside of the screw in place.

    Will I be able to put the pedal on without problem in a motel room on the road somewhere, in order ro be able to hammer on the pedals as I am used to (with all my 81 kilos) ?

    First, you need a 15mm spanner, a big long handled one. Bike shops sell special pedal wrenches that have long handles, but a good home store may have a long one as well.

    Second, there is no backside screw. That hex hole you are looking at is the axle of the pedal. When the pedal comes out there is nothing left in the crank arm, just a 15mm threaded hole.

    Third, THE LEFT SIDE PEDAL HAS LEFT HAND THREADS. Also, THE LEFT SIDE PEDAL HAS LEFT HAND THREADS!!! I thought I would repeat that point for clarity.

    Fourth, installing pedals is much easier, as long as you remeber that the left one has left hand threads. How do you tell which pedal is the left one? It is the one with left-hand threads. It is also marked with an "L". L stands for left side AND left hand threads. Do not crank too hard on the wrench when installing the pedals, they are not going to fall off when you are riding. (have you ever seen someone lose a pedal on a ride/race?)
  • 04-22-2004
    ukiahb
    you can also use the wrench AND hex key if need be.
    Torque is additive, so if you only have a short 15mm wrench you can also a 6mm hex wrench from the back side in addition to tighten (or break loose) the pedal...don't do this though if you have a long pedal wrench, the additional torque would be too much. Also, when loosening the pedals be careful with hand placement as pedals sometimes cut loose suddenly and you can get cut by the chainring when this happens...
  • 04-22-2004
    Keeping up with Junior
    Secret Trick
    Shift your chain to the large 53 tooth chainring up front. That way if your hand/wrench slips you just get dirty. The chain will keep you from getting little puncture marks from the exposed teeth. Blood is not a very good chain lubricant. The chain also covers the teeth as you are packing the bike.
  • 04-22-2004
    IUbike
    Wow Im so jealous! I am from San Antonio Canyon is an amazing lake. If you want some good views and hills also check out Medina lake, it is closer to town. Both are a blast however, and the water is sooooo warm. Fourtunently I have a meeting to attend this summer and will be riding SA with my girlfriend to show her some REAL fun.

    Kyle
  • 04-22-2004
    Ken2
    One more idea
    In addition to all the other good advice: if you have trouble getting the pedals to start unthreading, another trick is to tap sharply on the wrench end with a hammer. This beats reefing on the wrench with your hands and will often break loose the threads. Just remember what everyone else has said: your wrench moves counterclockwise on the right pedal to remove it, but clockwise on the left pedal. Tap with the hammer accordingly!
  • 04-22-2004
    LSchoux
    Excellent response folks... I'll print the entire thread before going home.

    So I have the Left hand / Right hand pedal stuff down...

    I'll get the tools as recommended...

    I'll put my mind at easy regarding pedals coming of when I wanna take off...

    I'll put some grease on ...

    I'll pack all the stuff I need...

    I'll enjoy San Antonio...

    I'll tank you all by posting a write up (and maybe some pictures) here next week...

    ... What am I missing ? :confused:
  • 05-05-2004
    LSchoux
    As Promised - Ride Report
    Thanks anyone who has made this ride possible !

    Saturday, April 24, 2004

    San Antonio, TX… Woooohooooo. Ok the weather’s not too great but… Whatever. I touched down at the airport w/o incident and got my car. I had originally planned for a mid-size vehicle…but the Enterprise clerk talked me into a higher category. For $10 more I am now cruising the Lone Star State… in a big, huge, wide-ass, gas-guzzling SUV, YESSSSSS SIR ! American made by Ford, and Explorer it is. And the Bike box fit right in sideways (!) in the rear. Woohooo. I am the captain of that ship baby. I know the cost…but as Bob Roll says: You can’t beat big American secure cars J Alright !!!!

    So I got into the Econo-sludge and started unpacking. Actually it wasn’t that bad to get here, just about 1 hour later than originally planned. But far better than making the trip on one airplane engine.

    I tried to assemble the Cal Blue… but I noticed right away something was missing. Actually I am missing the 2 screws that are supposed to hold the handlebar at the headset. D’OH ! Dunno if I forgot to pack them or if some leprechaun has come out of the trees and stole them… in any case there stands Cal Blue in front of my…w/o it’s handlebars attached. Dog-Dooo and Double Dog Doo…

    I checked the Yeller-Pages and found a bike store not far away… Bummer already closed. Will open today at 9:00… Oh well. I’ll go there after B-fast and get the screws before packing up Cal Blue into the mile-wide SUV and heading out to New Braunfels… Must have been a German settler who took a dump in the desert and painted it brown…LOL
    So after my (unfortunate) assembly of Cal Blue, I went shopping. Got me a new pair of khaki-shorts, a polo shirt and a t-shirt. Damn all the stuff I brought is far too large. I also got milk and cereals and plastic bowl… and rice cakes and Diet Coke. So I just need 2 screws and a spoon to eat my milk. Will pass by the Econo-Drudge administrator later and beg for a spoon. Right after I finish this entry (and the Doo that I am brewing right now).

    After shipping I went to dinner. Tried to find a steak-house… Did, but right across was an Applebees… No contest. Went to the friendly Neighborhood Bar & Grill, sat at a friendly table, looked at the friendly menu, was charmed by a friendly and very cute waitress named Brandy (who may have been an exotic dancer/cheerleader/call girl/ porn actress/American Sweetheart whatever… in a previous or simultaneous career… She sure had the beat-off looks for it… and asked her (in tribute to what Lance always says) if they had any Shiner Bock Beer. “We sure do. On tap” and I ordered a pint. Wow. Not bad for a beer. It’s a dark Bock beer that goes down rather smooth. So I just drank one because I have to ride today. I also ate too much…Old story. It’s the USA that takes the cake, the pie, the cream, the cherries and everything else that is 100% grease, fat, sugar and un-diety food when it comes to eat ‘till you explode. Had coconut shrimp for appetizer and was reminded of Cartman telling the Ethiopian kid that “Appetizers are the food that you eat to make you more hungry. You eat it before you eat” Wow… I felt like Cartman. And then the Jambalaya pasta came over and was worth it… Wow. Skipped desert and went back to the hotel to sleep.

    Boom ! Crash ! Blast ! Boom ! Crash! Wow… there was a HUGE ass thunderstorm during the night. I hope my rides today will not be too much bummed because of the weather. I’ll ask at the bike store later.

    Oh yeah.. I need socks too. Cycling w/o socks in rain is disgusting.

    Ok.. Time to find me a spooooooon.

    Spooned and ready to head out into the great wide open country… I found a spoon at the front desk and wolfed down 2 helpings of cereal. I also ate an apple which, it turned out, was somewhat of a mistake because I had slight pangs of diarrhea (but no eruption thank Granny Smith) during my ride.

    I first set out to find the screws… Found a Trek dealer not too far away from the hotel but it was closed until 9 am… so I cruised through the northern subs of SA… in my wide exploring Ford… until I finally got into the holiest of holy sanctuaries a bike nut (and screw) can hope for… They probably had every Trek model on the planet… and they may have had some extraterrestrials too. They also had a nice yellow limited edition 5900 super light… Wow… Second time I’ve seen one up close and it still looks awesome.

    I browsed for about 3 seconds until the main Trek honcho inquired as to my business and I informed him of my misplaced misfortune with the screws… He was not sure if he had the screws required as he was mainly selling the headsets and not only screws… but he finally found them. I meanwhile found a very nice Trek rain jacket worth $99 to the bike shop, but probably much more to me in the long run. It has detacheable arms so you can wear it as a windbreaker and a top … I may even wear it when I am not cycling… Sweet. Then I got be a bottle of Teflon lube for the axles of my 2 quick-releases (dry as a fart on a windy day) and I grabbed a yellow baseball-cap from the USPS team … SWEET :D

    I briefly mentioned my plan to cycle to Canyon Lake and inquired if there were any floods, mudslides or other hazards to watch out for. The guys at the bike shop told me that floods would be the only thing to watch out for especially when the river decides to take a detour over the road. They warned me that it was a beautiful ride. The Devil’s Backbone… Yesssssss… I also informed him that I may do a reconnaissance drive first… He admired that. Since I was paying by credit card he wanted to see some ID and I pulled out my QC driver’s license… He asked me if I were from Quebec and I informed him that no I came from Lux… and the entire conversation seemed to earn me some kudos. He wished me a great ride “my friend”. We bikers are a friendly folk !

    So then I got back to the Motor lodge and started to saddle up, lock, load and pack my Cal Blue into my Highway Explorer with all the extras (Clif bars, water, bottles, money, sunshades, helmet, etc… I got in dress (and for the occasion I decided on the USPS garb (and I really look good in it – still waiting for someone to sat the “Rudy”-line to me “You were born to wear that (garb)”… and I headed out the door.

    A last check to find the place I was heading and off I went.

    Well I did not find the starting point of the ride right away… I got lost in New Braunfels… and as it turned out the start was in Gruene (which is pronounced Green). When I finally found the road I was about to tear to pieces with my bike, I tried to do the reconnaissance but as I was embarking on the river road next the Guadaloupe river… I saw another roadie coming the other way and I wanted to get riding. So I got back to Gruene and parked the gas-guzzler, readied the bike and got going. Wind from the front, great so I’ll be sailing on the way back.

    Up the river road and on and on… and boom, promptly I got lost. I thought I was going on to the river but I took a wrong turn and ended up back on the highway. So I turned around…15 minutes lost… and was soon back in the river valley and this time … wow… excellent riding. Actually the speed limit around these parts is rather low so you can really let the bike fly without having to worry about cars overtaking you all the time.

    Btw… I just saw on the WEATHER channel (!!!!) that LA is still leading the Tour de Georgia… Screw ESPN and other news channels… the WC is the way to go if you want US cycling news… Geeeezuz what a screwey situation. Of course them hunting shows on ESPN2 are much more interesting sportswise than the single largest Bicycle race (which may be as much a sport as hunting, I think) in the US. Whoever is this yokel who programs these garbage programs must be a closet couch potato who hasn’t seen a deer in flesh and blood in decades unless it was packed under plastic at his butcher’s or was stuffed in a “hunter’s” cabin. More on that later…

    I cycled north along the Guadaloupe…and soon found the next highway… Ok going on… and soon was lost again. Well actually I did not know it yet but instead of riding the Devil’s backbone… I slipped of his back and ended up on one of his ribs. I found myself on the southern shore of the Canyon Lake. D’OH ! But I came across a park that was something else. Actually the elderly lady in the booth at the entrance to the park looked at me and waved me through. As soon as I entered the park there they were… a herd of deer looking at me… I stopped and tried to be as quiet as possible… took out my camera and shot away. I really enjoyed that. Cycling is one great sport. And getting back to Billy-Bob Toothless who is responsible for the “sport” hunting garbage on Espn2 … I betcha he never saw a herd of deer look at him from 15 meters away while he had just completed 2 hours of cycling to get there… and they study you like you study them, it’s amazing what an effect nature has on you if you have not stopped and thought about it in a while. Last time was probably about 6 years ago when I was at the Grand Canyon.

    So in the end I got back to the grey-haired beauty at the booth and she pointed me to the crossing in the road where yours truly took the wrong turn. I rode back and at that crossing I decided to check out the hills (which are actually the up’s and down’s of the backbone) to the north. I got up the first hill (about 1 km at about 10%) and swooped down on the other side. I was in the “hidden valley” and came to the Canyon Lake Dam… I cycled up the hill to the dam, shot a couple of more pictures… and turned around to get back to the car. I was feeling somewhat tired but not exhausted. I followed the road back towards the river road and the Guadaloupe, the same I took on my way up.

    And as I predicted I flew back… Wind at my back plus the road is in a slight descent all the time (following the river) I was flying… I saw about 3 eagles along the ride all day… that would be 4 if I count the USPS eagle on my chest :D I dunno but Texas is a great place. Plus I often got the feeling that the birds were yelling at me… I swear at one point up a hill there were birds whose chanting resembled the crazy fan’s chant of “allezallezallez” when riders go up the Tourmalet or the Galibier in the Tour de France… A M A Z I N G !!!!

    I checked my average and was surprised to be at 25.9 km average. I pushed it up to 26.9 getting back to the car. Wow. Almost 27… But the problem is it started raining when I got back to the SUV and I was about ready to pack it in. So I failed to get 100 km total. By a whisker actually… The stats:

    Time 3:37
    Average 26.9 km/h
    Distance 97.3 km
    Weather - Overcast w/ a few sunny spells and some drizzle, 21°, slight wind


    So what’s on the menu tomorrow ? Well I have 2 options: Either go back to the Devil and ride the backbone or go South towards San Antonio and ride the city and/or another part of the area… Hmm. The Sun is setting around 8 here so I could actually cycle the city on Monday/Tuesday if I wanted to. So I guess I’ll go back North on Sunday to do the Backbone. Now I know the area and I should get lost less :D Sweet.

    Dinner was a formality… I went to Hooters since it was one of the restaurants on my list. Really Sweet ! I also had a herd of waitresses to study there. Nature is AMAZING ! Ha ha ha…
    Tomorrow is another day and hopefully as good as today.

    Sunday, April 25, 2004

    Up where I belong, where the eagles cry on a mountain high. Oh wow what a day. I set out of the motel at 10:00 am and got back to New Braunfels or actually right passed Gruene to do a recon drive. I got to Purgatory road that was indicated on my map and the rain started to come down really seriously. All morning I was already looking up at the sky and it was heavy…. Finally it came pouring down.

    Purgatory road… and then finally the Devil’s Backbone. The stretch of road that eluded me yesterday. Wow. Breathtaking panorama on both sides of the mountain. And some eagles soaring above it all… I drove back to Gruene and left the car in the historic town’s parking lot. I set out on the road settling into a rhythm. I was unsure if I should go and ride the same way I was driving during my recon or the opposite way. While I drove down from the Backbone, I saw a party of roadies, even a tandem, come up a rather serious incline which I drove down the other way… So I decided that I was no wanker who prefers going down steep inclines rather than up… and rode the opposite way to prove myself. My twisted ego needed proof. So I rode past Canyon Lake (the northern side as I was supposed to yesterday) and finally hit the steeps. Well… From my perspective the climbs were rather… unimpressive. I did them with a scary ease. Either I was in a good shape today, or the climb was not really that steep. Cool ride though… When I got on top of the first hill and the wind started screaming in my face, I was confident that I would have a good day… Hey good legs equals good day, right ?

    Since the ride consisted of mainly primary and secondary roads, there was always a healthy stream of traffic, but it wasn’t overall busy. Some descents on my way up there were actually quite fun and reminded me of the Poteau de Kayl in Luxembourg. Not too long, swift cycling and fast rolling hills. Sweet.

    When I passed the 3-4 hills on top of the backbone and turned onto Purgatory road, I was rolling right along… when suddenly I was struck by a line out of the “Sopranos” when Paulie said: “Purgatory, I could that standing on my head”. I nearly laughed myself silly.

    Down purgatory was an experience in and by itself. Again, rolling hills, but I saw some awesome sights: Armadillo carcasses in the ditch, ranches next to each other, cattle grazing in the prairie which I greeted by yelling” Hey Baseball-Glove, I’m gonna eat your brother tonight for dinner !” and a goat that was standing under some trees I greeted with a loud “Bahhhhh” and it responded in kind… and finally a donkey that I greeted with a “Shrek” impersonation “Hey donkey” and asking it if it was still dreaming of becoming a Clydesdale (see Budweiser commercial).

    But then I had the incredible brain fart of the day: Why don’t I do the Devil twice ? Actually I took stock of my form and came to the conclusion that I was doing pretty good. Yes it was somewhat wet, there was a constant drizzle but as so far no downpour… I was in good form and when I checked my computer it read an average of over 28. Wooohoo… So I took the executive decision and swung back onto the Canyon Lake road as I came to the end of Purgatory…

    I must admit… the second I turned back north, splat, splat, splat… the big raindrops started to pound me. I put on my rain jacket and continued on my merry way…

    I had a real good time riding although my legs started to feel heavier by the kilometer. I finally got back onto Devil’s and then I had a real “good” time going up the mountain to the summit. I started the incline and hammered away… Finally I was getting somewhat tired… and then I saw them… 2 Eagles above me… and I felt great. This was actually an excellent, awesome sight… Me trying to fly up the mountain like Charly Gaul… and above me the spirit of Federico Bahamontes, the “Eagle” of Toledo… Wow… At the summit I pulled over and stood there looking at these 2 beautiful creatures that were almost standing still in the upstream … Wow… AMAZING sight… I was mesmerized and stood there a few minutes while munching on a Clif bar… Finally I got back in the saddle and all my heavy legs were gone. I got back into Purgatory and was actually thinking that “after visiting the Devil’s Backbone twice, I passed Purgatory twice as well…” and since all good things seemed to repeat today, I saw the same cows, goat and donkey, who actually talked to me as I passed them.

    When I got back to the road to Gruene I checked my computer and found my average of 27.2 km/h. Ok… Let the hammering begin. I started and increased my cadence and started flying down the road in a blaze of glory…Hey call me young gun because I’m the Devil’s son :D

    I had about 10 miles to go back to Gruene and I managed to increase my average to 28.7 SWEEEEET !

    When I finally cruised back to Gruene I was beat… Here are the stats:

    96.6 km
    3.21 hrs
    28.7 average
    Weather: rain with some dry periods. Drizzle, cloudy and some light wind. About 18° but it was very humid.

    When I got to Gruene I needed a hot chocolate and I got it from a cute girl at the Gruene historic convenience store. Niiiiiiice :)

    So then I got back to my SUV and started getting ready to leave. A stranger walked up to me and asked me if I had been riding with a group or alone. We got to talking and Mike, as it turned out, was looking for a club to ride in. After I told him that I was just visiting from MTL, he got the idea… He wished me luck and I was on my merry way…

    For dinner I had Tex Mex along with Shiner Bock… Nachos, Fajitas with Steak (the cow’s brother he he he) and a Diet Coke to chase… I then stopped at an Ice cream parlor and got 2 scoops of Ice cream and was again on my merry way… Now I am hanging around my room, stuffed like a turkey and unable to sleep… Well… So much for eating too much.

    Anyway… Tomorrow will be back to work but the Sunday ride was a memorable one. I think those eagles were a remarkable sight and I really think that this was not the last time I’ve ridden the Devil’s Backbone. Someday I will be back and ride the entire loop with the Guadaloupe river road… But for now I have to be satisfied with the fact that on 2 consecutive days I’ve managed awesome rides with climbs and downhills of nearly 100 clicks each at a respectable average. Woooooohooooo… Beaconsfield here I come!

    Tuesday, April 27, 2004

    Of barriers and wounded knees…

    Monday I sat in class all morning listening to an instructor talking about mildly interesting things, keeping mildly curious about the subject… Turns out I was tired all day T I R E D because I got up at around 6 to pack my bags and move downtown San Antonio into a very nice (but as it turns out a very noisy) Holiday Inn. The afternoon session started after a steak lunch… Rather puny steak and somewhat tough to cut. The cow probably had some health problems… Oh well… So after lunch I was sleepy and was fighting to stay awake in the classroom. I managed, barely… The great thing is that the sessions end at 4:30pm… So you can imagine what I did at 4:31… get ready to RIDE!

    The thing is… my car is on the 6th floor that I can access by an elevator from the lobby only… I stay on the 14th floor and needed to ride the elevator to the car because my cycling shoes were still in it. That’s what I did and I took my bike and everything with me. I hope the other patrons of the hotel, and especially those who rode the elevator with me, are indulgent because I stank to high heaven. The cycling jersey was the Saturday one and I did not have a chance to wash it… so PEWUUUUU…

    I got to the car in the parking garage, put on my shoes, helmet and sunglasses… and proceeded to ride down the ramps to exist the garage… Well I followed a car for about 3 floors from 4 to 1… and we got to the booth… He continued so I wanted too… and the girl from the booth started waving her arms frantically and yelling and looking scared… and then I realized… The BARRIER !!!! And it was coming down… and I was too… I used the brakes and tried to get out of the pedals… but to no avail… my right knee scraped the floor as I bought the dirt. I did not land full blown on my ass but besides my knee I managed to get back my balance with my right arm. I got up and the booth girl came out and started apologizing that the barrier was not under her direct control… I checked my knee and, yes, it was scraped. She handed me a paper towel and I dabbed at the knee.. Nothing bad… So I reassured her that I was fine and got back on Cal Blue and continued on down the last ramp and into the streets of San Antonio. Phew… I could have ploughed right into that barrier. Lucky break I guess…

    On a map on Sunday I had seen that the SA missions are aligned all on a string towards the South of downtown so I made my way through the busy rush-hour streets of SA and finally got to the mission park. Well some road construction forced me off there and I continued to go South on busy streets. Until I hit a highway that was running South and where I was able to put the hammer down. I continued on that one (281 I believe) and turned around after nearly 1 hour of hammering. I swung North, having more wind to battle, and made it back to the City. My knee did not bother me and I sacrificed a little bit of average to do a sightseeing tour of SA w/ my bike. I stood in front of the Alamo at one point and I guess some Tourist took advantage of me and shot my picture in the USPS jersey… Well who cares ?

    Got a piece of bad news yesterday mixed with some excellent news: Lance has won the Tour de Georgia, ALRIGHT ! Excellent dude, let the TdF begin! But the US Postal organization has decided to discontinue the sponsoring of the team for next season. Bummer. Supposedly Berry Floor is expected to jump in as the main sponsor. We’ll see. I will probably buy the jersey and bibs 2004 but that may be it. Berry Floor appeals to me less and less… Subaru might actually be better. We’ll see.

    Dinner… Well… Since I had that crummy steak for lunch, I decided that STEAK was to be on the menu for dinner. So I drove up to the same area where my Ecolonodge was and went to “Texas Land and Cattle” steak house. Unbeknownst to me (I just used unbeknownst in a sentence, cooooool) there is also a TLC next to the hotel as I found out today. Anyway… I had a great steak, preceded by a great spinach and artichoke dip… and some mashed taters… of course accompagnied by a Shiner Bock. Gee I started drinking again I guess. LOL

    So I got back to the hotel and I was somewhat baffled by Holiday Inn’s choice of elevator music… Actually it was that strings song… from “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest”… I thought they probably realized that I am one crazy son of a bike J

    No idea how my diet is doing… Oh well. We’ll take stock and reassess the entire shalayla next weekend.

    Today no cycling. Got my bike in the box in a jiffy, went to dinner at Hard Rock Café and got me a couple of nice ball cps (one of the U of Texas, on Hard Rock Café San Antonio) and (of course) a “Don’t mess with Texas” T-shirt.

    Anyway… Next cycling will probably be the trainer or an evening spin on Thursday… and definitely an evening spin on Friday.
  • 05-05-2004
    Bacco
    Get the Park PW-4 pedal wrench
    It costs about $28, but it's better than less expensive ones. Why? Because it allows you to position the wrench two different ways on the pedal. Note: the maximum mechanical advantage occurs when the wrench is perpendicular to the crank arm. The PW-4 ensures you can position the wrench this way.

    A trick you can use to remove the pedal if the pedal is on really, really tight is to position a short piece of wood between the crank and ground to brace it while you stomp on the wrench handle with your foot. With the PW-4, you probably won't need to use this trick. I have the cheaper PW-3 tool which has only one position and sometimes I need to use this trick to help loosen the pedal when I am not lucky enough for the wrench to line up perpendicular to the crank arm.