Chatham > Provincetown > Chatham


Distance: 103.38 miles

Time: 5:31:45

Avg. speed: 18.7 mph

Weather: 80º, humidity 82%, SW9

August mileage total: 567 miles


Rode to P-town and back with my brother yesterday. Left his house in Chatham at about 7:45 a.m. and rode along the Cape Cod Rail Trail to Wellfleet. We had hoped to cross paths with Len from the MRC but he got sidelined with work. We kept a pretty brisk pace on the way up, averaging just over 20 mph.

My bike had started making a new set of noises it had never done before and a recurring theme of the ride was trying to determine where it was coming from. BB? Cranks? Freewheel? Headset? Not sure, but it only happened when I stressed the bike – pedaling or not.

Once the trail led us onto conventional roads, the terrain took a decidedly hillier turn. Pretty much from Wellfleet all the way up to Provincetown, it's all medium-to-large rollers and hills. Total climbing for the ride totaled nearly 3,500 feet achieved with a maximum elevation of about 130 feet – that's a lot of up-and-down in little chunks.

We got to Provincetown by 11 a.m. and started out to Race Point (partly to be sure and hit at least 50 miles for the outbound leg) but my stomach wanted some solid food so we turned back towards downtown before getting to the shore. After a short convenience store-fueled lunch, we started back towards Chatham.

We stopped a few extra times coming back to take on water (last year we were very under hydrated) but kept the pace up nicely until we got back on the rail trail, which by 12:30 or so, was densely populated with the usual mix of inline skaters, bikes with tot-trailers, training wheeled youngsters, etc.

My preference would be to stay on regular roads but my brother suffers from a sort of "traffic phobia" and rather than challenge him to get over it, I acquiesced and followed him back onto the trail. By this time, we were at the 75 mile mark; the heat/humidity combined with the six days of riding (consecutively) totaling 188 miles that immediately preceded today's ride had me feeling ready to ease up the pace.

We poked along the rest of the way back and for the last 10 miles or so, it was clear that I was running out of gas. We arrived back at about 2:30 p.m. or so.

Showered and fed (giant italian grinders), we sat down to figure out what was creating the noise on my bike. Yes, the freewheel retaining ring was a bit loose but tightening that down did not rid it of the noise. I was just getting ready to pull the cranks and re-seat the BB when I looked at the rear wheel again: some of the bladed spokes were rotated into a very non-aero position.

Grabbing my brother's spoke tension meter, I discovered tensions all over the place. This had to be where the noise was coming from. Andy at Landry's said the wheels should be trued about 200 miles into their initial use and at this point they were at 262 miles with some rather nasty road surfaces traversed along the way.

I've not mastered truing/tensioning yet so, I'll drop off the wheels to Landry's tomorrow on my way back down to the Cape.

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