I take a long time to learn my lesson.
There are plenty of documented times when bike maintenance should have been done, but didn’t get done, resulting in a not-so-good ride. There are other times when I’ve done some slightly crazier offroad riding and broken parts, which is to be expected, and that is all in good fun.
But this time the blame falls squarely on crappy bike parts.
I was heading off on a ride early in the morning, I started at 4:15, which was a little later than planned, but that’s par for the course.
The destination was the 600m peak of the hill between Shrding and Pinglin on the 106A. To get there I had to head off towards Nangang, pass by Academia Sinica Road then head on.
Now, the most obvious way to Shrding is by going over the 109, but I wanted to try something new. With Google street view on hand I planned a decent looking route over a smaller road that would achieve the same elevation, but add some variety to my ride.
A Little Lost
The main turnoff to the road up the hill was where the Google car had decided to go the other way, so I was on my own to figure out which roads went where.
I made it through the first intersection unscathed, keeping to the left and avoiding a detour to a deadend in the middle of nowhere. But my luck would change.
Later I was faced with a similar choice.
The road to the right didn’t seem to have any more lights while the road that dropped sharply to the left was well lit. So I took the path down.
Grab a Fistful
Something I love about roads in Taiwan is that there is no maximum grade. If that’s where the road has to go, then that’s where it has to go.
Back in South Africa there were some steep hills, but they were all limited in how much they would challenge my breaks when needed.
So on the way down this “little” road down I ended up braking so hard that I had to carefully alternate front and rear brakes to give them time to recover from the glazing over that occurs during heavy, continuous braking.
It was the wrong turn…
just a dead end…
should’ve taken the other turn, so I had to slog back up after trying to check my location on the map (BTW a map on your phone is only really useful if you have a GPS to pinpoint your location, duh, I don’t have a GPS).
So up I went, kept following the road, the lights returned and then I started heading down.
Riding in the dark requires and abnormal amount of trust in the state of the road you are riding on.
Very few bike lights will light up enough road to allow for evasive maneuvers when travelling at 30kmph+
So I was following the road as usual, keeping to the parts of the road I could see, or at the very least not riding off the edge of the road.
When I spotted a construction team I had to change tact and move left into a darker area….
Although my front wheel made a big move to the right I did manage to stabilize and continue.
But something wasn’t right. The saddle felt strange. I put it down to the seat being shifted slightly during the little incident that just occurred. I continued, and finished a wonderful ride to the top of the big hill.
So I headed back to the office and went off to the Taipei main station for a slightly early holiday (on a Thursday, a got the day wrong in the video).
Disassembling my bike outside the bus terminal and shock and horror I see my seatpost is bent, no quick realignment of the saddle needed, but a full replacement of the seatpost. And this is the third one I’ve had that’s bent, just none of the others have bent so far.
The insanity is that until more recently Giant have insisted on installing 27.2mm seatposts with a big old shim, whereas the inner diameter of the seat tube is actually made for a 30.9mm seatpot without a shim. Dumb, dumb, dumb, raise the skinny one to a height suitable for me, put my fat ass on the saddle and the poor seatpost doesn’t have a chance.
Well, all should be good and well in seatpost land from now on.