Tuesday, July 04, 2006
The rear rack I ordered for the trike came in last Friday. I picked it up at Calhoun Cycles and immediately noticed that it had no support for a pannier's bottom clip. I talked to the guy from Calhoun and decided to try and take it home and make it work. He told me if I couldn't make it work at home to bring the rack and trike in once it was mounted and they could fabricate something. Over the weekend I took the rack out and realized that the folks at Sun decided that including enough bolts to mount the rack to the bike was not a needed feature. Since I would need to make a trip to the store anyhow, I decided to take everything back to Calhoun and see what we could come up with.
So Monday I loaded the trike in my van and drove to Calhoun. A different guy was working in the shop but he came out to take a look. His lack of enthusiasm for this project was immediately apparent. He mentioned a few things, and expressed his surprise that Calhoun would have even supplied this rack. When I mentioned that it came without the lower mounting bolts he went inside. I waited outside for at least 10 minutes before I went inside. He said, "I've got two 5mm bolts for you there [edit: I needed 6mm]. You can have them for free if you don't ask me any more questions about that rack." Ok then. I asked about fabrication. He said that it would be minimum of $30 plus parts and would be ready Friday at the earliest. Less than impressed, I headed for home.
I stopped off at Home Depot and purchased $8 worth of parts and spent an hour or so in the driveway and whipped something together. By this time it was about 6:30 and I told my wife I was going for a shakedown ride. I took a quick peek at my bike map and decided to ride down Highway 13, cross the Minnesota River on the bike/pedestrian bridge, head back on the west side of the river, cross back on 494 and then home.
I'd never crossed the pedestrian bridge near Highway 77, but I knew it was there from time spent exploring the nature preserve. The bike map said to follow Kennebeck Drive. I rode down 13 and never saw a sign for Kennebeck. When I got to 77 the shoulder ran out, so I turned around and started doing some exploring. I finally found Kennebeck but still couldn't figure out how to get to the bridge.
After yet another dead end I saw a security guard walking down the road. He worked for the Seneca Water Treatment Plant. I stopped and asked him if he knew where the road to the bridge was. He pointed toward the plant and said it was down that way, but he couldn't let me go that way. But, he helpfully explained, if I were to come from the other direction (meaning going up to 494, crossing the river, riding down to the bridge and crossing from west to east) I could gain entry to the plant and he would then be authorized to open the gate to let me out. But he was not authorized to open the gate and let me in. They couldn't let just anybody in because of the possibility of terrorists. He was very earnest, and I didn't want to cause him concern by pointing out the obvious. So I thanked him for the info and decided to ride that loop another day. Instead I headed east, wound around and eventually found 149 which I followed back home.
I had one stop to readjust my camelback, because the mounting position I started out with caused the fender to rub against the rear tire when the bladder was full. But all in all a successful test run. I think I'm ready to commute on the trike.
Date: July 3
Ride type: Shakedown
July mileage: 20
Year to date mileage: 1842