This morning’s ride featured rain and leaves.. an autumn institution in the Mid-Atlantic. Seems like every time I ride in these conditions, I end up getting a leaf stuck in one of my fenders. Initially, the leaf will stick to the tire, and I’ll get a periodic squeak-squeak noise as the leaf brushes the fender. The pitch varies with speed. Then eventually, the leaf will either wash off the tire (riding through puddles helps), or it’ll get lodged in the fender, usually near the clip that secures the fender to the brake bridge. When that happens, the noise changes to a constant irritating whistle-squeak. The only way to get rid of it is to stop, locate the offending leaf, and remove it, sometimes with the help of a stick or other handy object. Then, hop back on the bike and wait for it to happen again. The fun never ends.
Still working a bit on my old Rockhopper. I’ve decided I’m going to get it to where I can ride it, then swap out parts as the need arises. Initially, all I should need are a chain, a couple of tubes, and possibly a pair of pedals and toe clips. I’m thinking about converting the bike to single speed, but before I do that, I want to make sure a single speed setup will be practical for single-track commuting through Patapsco State Park. There are some pretty serious hills on some of those trails.