Devil’s Slide

Day 10 • March 11, 2012 • South San Francisco to Half Moon Bay •  23 miles

Time for some trike maintenance. I wasn’t willing to give up on my theory explaining the cause of my drive train woes so easily.  We found an empty, flat patch of parking lot near our motel and started doing some measuring. And guess what, my eyeball isn’t so good at measuring vertical.  Using my phone I learned I was several degrees off and quickly corrected it.  I also corrected a problem I’d forgotten about–  in my haste to prepare for the trip I attached the chain guide (a piece of fabric that holds the lower, return side of the chain up off the ground) to the upper, drive side of the chain. I’d been running this way for a IMG_8199while in Boise and on the trip up until SFO without a problem, I think the combination of the rotated rear wheel and the unusual constraint of the chain guide caused the problem.  It’s hard to say for sure because I was never able to see the rear wheel in a failed state—that would have been my next effort.  But after some test runs under load we declared the problem solved.  We also lubed the chains and tightened some loose mirrors.  When she wasn’t helping me, Zoe tended to the ailing Slash, in need of his own maintenance.  Another gymnastics accident.

Thanks to Paul for reminding me that I have a very capable level in my pocket.  For the twelve or so of you out there who have a Windows phone, Clinometer is one of the  best WP7 apps I’ve used.  Before I left Microsoft I had some time to fill for a weekly meeting.  Taking Elaine’s suggestion I asked people to submit their favorite WP7 apps and then I reviewed them in the meeting.  This turned out to be very useful for this trip.  I can’t remember now who submitted what (you can reclaim your glory by responding in a comment!) but the apps are still on my phone: Ask Ziggy, Avionic Instruments, Clinometer, College Guru (written by Boise’s own Steve Caminiti), Flashcard++, Flashlight-X, Photogram, and TuneIn Radio.  And a quick note about Paul–  he built the first trike I used as an introductory aluminum welding project.  That trike, prototype 1, is still in use and served me well for four years or so before I switched to the Trice.  Paul remains one of my first of a growing number of resources for perplexing trike issues.

IMG_8205 Stitch

Riding along highway 1 between Pacifica and Montara we encountered Devil’s Slide, near Point San Pedro (I think).  Easily the gnarliest road we’ve seen— steep, winding, narrow, and the Sunday traffic was constant.  It is infamous for massive slides that close it from time to time, a problem being addressed by a new tunnel dug right through the hill.  I think the plan is to keep the existing road as a bike path once the tunnel is complete but this didn’t help us so we chugged away up the hill. Brian, an electrician who lived in the area, passed us in his pickup and then swung around at the next pullout and convinced us to hop aboard.  His dire outlook on our plight was a bit overstated–  we would have made the climb intact as thousands of other cyclists have–  but we weren’t having much fun and very much appreciated the ride, as did many other motorists no doubt.  His truck was empty save a set of prized golf clubs and the bed was a perfect fit for the trike.  The Trets was another matter–  we dumped it in sideways and watched it teeter precariously as we bounced up the road.  Zoe watched nervously and announced each shift of the Trets.  When we got past the worst and were heading downhill again Brian stopped and showed us one of his old old haunts, a WWII gun turret on the side of a big rock outcropping.  Thanks for the ride and the tour Brian, I still owe you a beer!








1 thought on “Devil’s Slide

  1. Glad you got the shifting problem fixed! Nothing like on-the-ride maintenance to add a little drama to your ride.
    I believe the Clinometer app was my suggestion (yes, the guy who doesn’t even have a smartphone making WP7 app suggestions. But I thought the app looked pretty cool…and even useful!).
    I’ve enjoyed your blog posts Kurt (and Zoe). Keep them coming, and happy riding!


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