Seasonal Sneezing

It starts deep down, that itch that no amount of nose twitching will resolve. It builds until there is no containment anymore and one, two, three, four, maybe even five sneezes explode in rapid succession. After that is a tapering - six, seven, and maybe an eighth follow with increased space of time between them. Ah, yes, the autumn pollens are in the air. It is going to happen, inevitably, but we fight the losing battle anyway. Everyone has their own defense, - the old finger under the nose, the scrunching up and other contortions of the face, will power - some more successful, others less so, but none ultimately granting relief. 


We ride along carefree one day, everything in proper working order. Then, out of the blue, a shift doesn't shift. Quickly we move the lever one more time and the chain moves, but not smoothly, it is between gears and clicks annoyingly, ready to jump back at any second. So we shift back down again, maybe twice before things are where they are supposed to be. We try again. Shift, shift up. No. Shift, shift down. Up again and then move the lever only a half shift. That works. But a couple seconds later the clicking begins, increases, and the chain jumps back once again. Now things are really messed up, so to get things on track we shift all the way up, then slowly down until we reach the offending gear, identify it, and remember not to use it again this ride.

As inevitable as the seasonal sneeze is the equally unwelcome cable stretch. Fortunately it has a simple fix. Barrel adjusters are wonderful things.

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