I was up and at em' this morning at 6:45. By 9:00 I had paid the bills, washed the dishes, scarfed down an omelet at the diner, and was on my way down to the bike shop for a new cable guide. The cable guide that mounts under the bottom bracket [BB] shell on my Cannondale simply snaps in place rather than being fixed by a fastener. A rock must have smacked it loose from the shell a couple of rides ago. Without the cable guide firmly fixed, my rear derailleur would not react to the shifter pulling cable in the larger cog range (The guide would move instead of the derailleur). This is quite annoying when you're grinding up a steep trail and mis-shifting loudly along the way: "Ch-ch-ch-chung, chung, CHUNG!".
$7.68 later, I had a new cable guide and was headed back uptown, (angrily I might add).
Riddle me this: If a customer pays $2,500 for a bike at your shop and this small cheap piece breaks, why on earth, would you nickle & dime him the $7.68? I was pissed and shook my head as I paid. I cannot stand Sid's Bike Shops here in NYC. The staff I've interacted with all have shitty attitudes, are not helpful and their merchandise is overpriced compared to other shops in the area (OK, I'm done bitching).
When I got home I performed some quick maintenance on the Cannondale. I removed my Grapefruit Spoon Chain Guide (which wasn't very effective) and reinstalled my front derailleur. Since I'm only running a 32T ring up front, I adjusted the limit screws such that the front derailleur was working as a chain guide instead of a shifting component. With the new cable guide snapped into place I adjusted my rear derailleur, cleaned & lubed my chain and was off to catch a train out of the city.
The weather today was perfect; mid 80's and sunny with a slight breeze. The trails were bone dry again, but made for rip-tacular riding. I was completely "on" today and cleaned a section I've never gotten past before. Last winter it tossed me over the bars breaking my front brake lever body and messing up my left knee pretty bad. I took a few breaks to snack and take in the scenery. Chipmunks scurried all over the place. I swear there are more chipmunks per square foot at Sprain Ridge than anywhere else in the world. I came across a huge dead dragon fly and wondered how it died and why it wasn't eaten. It looked to be ideal bird food to me (Click here for a 1:1 close up of his crazy eyes).