Reaching the Limit

Man or machine. Flesh or steel. Which will reach the limit first?

Those were the questions that I was asking myself (albeit in not so dramatic terms)  this morning as I prepared to leave on my commute to work in 20 degree temperatures.


     From weather.com on January 12, 2007 for zip code 97223

The coldest temperature in which I had previously ridden was 28 degrees (Dec 28, 2006). Today was very unusual weather for January in Portland. Sunny and cold. Normally in the winter months Portland is entrenched in a pattern of “gray and 45 degrees.” Not today. I prepared myself no differently today than any other day this winter. T-shirt, jersey, rain jacket, riding tights, rain pants, wool socks, cycling shoes, neoprene booties, gloves, skull cap, helmet and riding glasses (with mirror). Man was fine.

Machine had issues. My bike, a Trek 7700fx hybrid, did fine the first 10 minutes into the ride. Suddenly I could no longer shift gears on the back sprocket. Of course this happened at the most inopportune time as I was approaching a steep hill. I quickly down-shifted the front sprocket to the middle range placing me in a gear that was reasonable to both climb and pedal on flat stretches. Once I was in a position to safely examine the bike, I found that the shifting linkage was frozen. It had nothing to do with the sprocket itself.

Machine is now thawing out in a warm building preparing for the return trip home.  Man is now a little wiser about the limits of machine.

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2 Comments on “Reaching the Limit”

  1. Dot Says:

    I hope your trip home is uneventful. What about when you approach the hill going down? Do you anticipate any problems with your machine?

  2. portlandor Says:

    There were no problems going downhill. I just coasted 🙂


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