Spoke Fun

This morning, I hopped on my single-speed bike and rode to the Seven Oaks neighborhood in Anne Arundel County. I think of this area as Severn, but the addresses actually are in Odenton. The route takes me through the vast industrial wasteland that lies just west of BWI Airport, encompassing the rental car complex and numerous faceless warehouse parks along Candlewood Rd. It then follows Harmans Rd over Route 100 (probably the most bike friendly crossing of that highway west of the B&A Trail) and eventually winds up on Town Center Drive. About 5 miles into the ride, on Candlewood Rd, I broke a spoke. It was on the front wheel, and (as expected) it knocked the wheel a tiny bit out of true, but not enough to make the brakes rub, so I wrapped the broken end around its neighbor and pressed onward, completing the ride without further incident. This was my first broken spoke in quite a while, and I think the first ever on this wheel. My general rule is “break one spoke, replace the spoke; break another spoke, replace the rim”. When I got home, I scrounged up a replacement spoke of the same length and fixed the wheel. I think the “new” spoke came from a wheel that I replaced on my old Giant OCR-1 several years back, as I had about 20 more of the same size in with all my other bike parts. I don’t know if I’m breaking any unwritten rule by reusing a spoke from an old wheel, but if there is a rule, I’m not sure why I kept all of the spokes in the first place. I guess we’ll see how the spoke does, and if it breaks prematurely, I’ll get rid of the others. To my untrained eye, the spoke seemed sturdy enough, so I bet it’ll be fine.

It was not a bad morning for a ride. A little bit cloudy, but mild, as has been kind of the theme this November. It was the second time I had ridden to that area of Odenton (first was in August), and the round trip distance was just shy of 25 miles. I probably won’t get out on the bike again until Tuesday, so glad I was able to ride today.