Monday, November 24, 2008

Don't Try This at Home

I did something Saturday I recommend you never try yourself. While reconverting my Cross-Check from singlespeed for the MN State CX Championships back to fixed gear for commuting, I got my thumb caught between the fixed cog and chain. It wasn't bad, thankfully. No blood even, just a HELL of a lot of pain. I think what saved me was the rag I was using to wipe the chain was wrapped above my thumbnail and below the fleshy pad, so I had no direct steel-to-flesh contact. I also had just installed a brand new cog, not a worn one with chain-honed, sharky teeth.

I clean my fixed gear drivetrains frequently and am well aware of the danger of a stuck digit. Sheldon Brown (MHRIP) has some graphic proof of such mishaps. They ain't pretty pictures, be warned. To my credit I was following my usual, time-tested procedure -- reverse pedaling with rag right in front of the cog, allowing plenty of distance between fingers and chainring. The difference was I recall letting the rag flap about quite a lot. Somehow it got caught somewhere and reversed the drivetrain, tugging my thumb into the works momentarily. The thundering voice of Cog spoke: Keep thine rag in check.

Enough of the PSA. My efforts meant I pedaled to work on a crisp, quiet drivetrain this morning. The sun made an appearance. It was about 32F and quite pleasant. After 20s and even teens last week I am happy to have a slight upturn in the mercury.

Be well.


mplsgirl@hrt said...

Holy Christ Fleck - you're a blogging fool. I was thinking maybe I'd get lucky and have one post to read, turns out you've been bloggin' like a mofo since H-ween. holler.

Snakebite said...

See! That's why we wear safety glasses!!!

Glad you have all your digits and none required DIY stitches.

Bloodclot said...


Linden said...

Yikes! I saw that photo on Sheldon's blog about 3 years ago and I do not need to look again... it is burned into my brain.

Every time that I clean the chain on my fixie, I keep a close eye on my 7 year old and his fingers... it is like a moth to the flame with him wanting to spin that wheel.