one cyclist's adventures through the urban jungle

Monday, April 02, 2007

If there ain't brakes...

Karma may have caught up to me today. During my ride to work, into the Sun, i heard a 'tink' as I rode over a metal object. The glare was great enough that I wouldn't have really seen anything on the road to begin with so I just kept riding - uphill. Eventually I got to a major intersection requiring some stoppage.

whoa nelly

My rear brake lever engaged - pas de problem. My front brake lever seemed to be AWOL though. &^%$! the bolt must have loosened, fallen out, leaving my lever to just plop out.

so that's what that noise was 8 or so blocks back.

Needless to say, I turned around and went on the hunt. I have Magura HS33 brakes, so the lever is pretty much only attached by the one bolt. There are obviously no cables to hold onto it. Thanks to the little red, pad adjustment knobby, I found it pretty easy. The bolt was nowhere to be found though. I pocketed the lever and rode on, wounded. Luckily, I ran into a buddy a few minutes later, who invited me over for some beers - that is a bonus that would not have come if my decellerator had not come apart.

I managed to rig up a fix for the brake at work (thank you bag o' mixed screws) and was fully repaired for the ride home. Having only a rear brake sucks, I would much rather have the front (which gives you loads more stopping power) if I were to only have one. For a while on my singlespeed I used only a front brake - it was fine. When I ride fixed, I sometimes use a rear, but it s not at all necessary. I just use my legs and a front brake for fixed. Sure, there is always the chance of doing the fear'd over-the-bars journey, but I highly recommend getting to know your front brake. Find out how hard you can brake before endoing. Find that combo of speed and body position (the further back and lower you are the less likely to go over the bars). It may come in handy when some Johnny cuts you off in his racecar.

On a side note - I have been listening to a lot of Silversun Pickups recently. It may be that I am pumped for their concert in a few weeks, but they are a wicked band. They were my mental soundtrack on the ride home, fully braked. Listen to them, they are good. Check out the bassist too, she is wicked cute.