Big Heap of Waste


The Crank Engine
Nov 1, 2005
Pronunciation: ''wÄ:st\\
Function: noun
1. the act or an instance of wasting : the state of being wasted
2. loss through breaking down of bodily tissue b: gradual loss or decrease by use, wear, or decay
3. garbage, rubbish

Whenever I see Shusuke-san, the "bicycle repair man" at my LBS, I tell him I''d soon sell all my bicycles and acquire a car instead. He got used to my threats and I no longer wonder why he does not appear to take me any serious. This month I had plenty of opportunity of terrorise him with the prospect of a motorised vehicle. It has been my official "Month of Waste".

Let the rant begin: it had all started when Philip, Travis and I set out for a ride to Yabitsu-toge (or was it Matsuhime-toge?) during Golden Week. A wonderful day, a promising ride and an early finish for me: I had to board a train in Hadano after a spoke on my rear wheel had snapped.

Next May 6: in the wake of a terrific ride in Chichibu I crashed along Tamagawa heading home: bike unscathed, a few sleepless nights, square decimetres of scab and my bike gear (bibs, jersey, shoes) ripped apart - along with my self-confidence.

May 22: with my rear wheel "reborn" - teeming with shiny new spokes - I headed to Arakawa. To make it short: another broken spoke and the rear rim cracked at two points. Reason: fatigue (material, and mental in my case). Solution: new rim, rebuild wheel from scratch.

May 24: Wada-toge with Christoph, Philip and TOM. As we climbed Jimba-toge from the steep side, my chain started to skip. As it got worse I had no choice but to *push* the bike to the top. How more humiliating can it get? Once again I had to buy a train ticket, this time from Sagami. [Side-note: I was stunned to meet Elvis at Sagami Sta.! Bikers'' world is small.] Positive side-effect: I developed proficiency in packing my wheels in garbage bags. Should I take that as a hint? Anyhow, after a long discourse with Shusuke-san we found the culprit: a wasted rear cassette.

May 2008: big heap of $$$$ for big heap of wasted material. Big heap of self-belief lost. Big heap of thanks to Shusuke-san, the saviour and cycle wizard at my LBS for his motivation and patience.

Team Mohican, with Shusuke-san of Yoshida Bicycles