Old Issues

Apparently Stumpjumper Day will always be colorful

This post should be about my second and now truly annual Stumpjumper Day ride; but it isn’t and it is.  It is about Stumpjumper Day ride, but it’s more about the old issues that came up on the ride.  Issues, old issues that really set in as I coasted down the exit road on my limping Stumpjumper and came across this, before unknown to me, trail aptly named “Old Issues.”

I was looking forward to this ride, just like every other ride, because I like to ride.  This ride though was going to be a little more special because I finally broke down and installed modern brake pads.  I had wanted to keep the bike as original as I could, but also had to weigh that want against my want to ride the bike as well as stop the bike.  Brakes worked…even with lack of toe-in adjustments of any sorts.  Last year Stumpjumper Day was noisy no stop brakes, this year quiet stops with new colorful Koolstop pads.  Cool.


This year’s Stumpjumper Day also had an uncool old issue surface on the first little uphill section.  A broken inner chainring, a complete first for me in my life!  I go for a little hard press on my left leg to lift the rigid front en
d over a little bitty bump and wham, chains off and I have a new bruise on my left knee.  My thought was that thefront derailleur was out of adjustment allowing the chain to just drop off, so I jogged up to the top of the hill, shifted to the  middle ring and off I went riding up the Dog Patch Trail.  It wasn’t until the top of the trail, when I stopped to fix that adjustment, that I reali

Old Issues

zed that I had a bit more than just an adjustment issue.  I had a broken chainring, an old bike issue.  I also had a vintage crankset that had all 3 chainrings held by the same set of bolts, of which, now half of them were damaged or missing.  I felt lucky to have just climbed a section of trail without any more old issues.

So I pointed my bike back down the hill on a couple of easy pedaling trails, trying to coast as much as possible while thinking about how great the new Koolstops were working.  I was also trying to glean as much fun as I could out of this botched ride by staying off roads and on trails as much as I could.  The last trail possible to hit on my way down, Old Issues, ironic.

I don’t know how difficult it will be to find an inner chainring for a 40 year old TA crankset.  I will assume it will be difficult and costly.  Now, to think about if this bike becomes a wall hanger before another old issue arrises that cannot be solved through Ebay.


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Poor as my writing might be, I still like to write. I’ve written a blog or two in the past, but at one point or another they each became a chore rather than a joyful pastime. C.S. Lewis said, regarding writing, “Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else.” I will be following Lewis’ advice so this blog, which bears my name, will remain a joyful pastime. Hope you like bikes.