I slowly lost power today.
On the weekend, I let my sister-in-law ride my commuter. Lucky lady. Little did she know I don’t share my bikes. She was visiting from out of town and wanted to cycle on the bikeways to Granville Island for a coffee and shopping. She is much shorter than I am, so I lowered the saddle for her.
Today, before cycling to the office, I repositioned the saddle. The ride down to the office felt normal. I was pleased to be back on the Kuwahara and throughout the day, I was looking forward to my 30 km, circuitous ride home around Stanley Park. The weather had improved by the end of the day and the sun was out when I left the office. Perfect, I thought, for a quick ride home.
As I cycled, I noticed it became more difficult pedalling as if the tires lost air pressure or the rear wheel was rubbing on one of the stays. I stopped and checked the tires and wheel but everything seemed fine. I got back on and continued to cycle but every km became slower and more difficult.
Half way around the Seawall I discovered the problem. I had not tightened the seat post sufficiently and, it began to slowly slip down. No problem, I thought. I’ll just stop and tighten the bolt with my multi-tool. Multi-tool? F(*k. I didn’t have one with me. Spare tire. Tire irons. And, pump. But no multi-tool.
I cycled the rest of the way home, about 15 km, with the saddle at least 2 inches lower than normal. The flats were not too much of a problem but much slower than normal. And, the few descents were fine. But I have a 3 km steep climb back to the house. That was tough. I simply did not have the power to climb effectively.
The moral of this story is twofold. First, make certain your saddle is positioned at the correct hight. Too low or, too high, and you lose power, not to mention damaging your knees. And secondly, always carry a multi-tool. I seldom need one when on shorter, city rides but usually have one in by saddle pack. I ride 3 bikes, own 3 saddle packs but only 2 multi-tools. I forgot to put it back. It would make sense to purchase a third one, don’t you think?