Monday, March 9, 2009
So I was hoping that this weekend would go better than the previous 2 weekends (21st and 16th). But it was not to be. The course on Saturday was amazing and I was feeling better with every lap. I made it about half way through the road race before disaster struck. My chain skipped and then dropped and swung into my wheel, got caught in my spokes, and sucked my rear derailluer into the wheel causing the lower jockey wheel to get ejected, the cage to get mangled, and the carbon link plate to snap in half. It also snapped the hanger and a spoke (and cracked another). I had just gotten the drivetrain in for my new team bike on Thursday and was gonna build it tomorrow. But my bike did not like the idea of being replaced......so it did the honorable thing and commited ritual suicide. However, being the evil doctor that I am, I frankensteined a single speed for the 80-90 min ride back to Boyd's house in Greenville. I removed the cable and cut the chain so that it was nice and tight in tht 39-19. It was ok for a casual post race ride for the most part though I spun out at about 21mph. I knew that wouldn't do for the crit on Sunday so I asked anyone I could find if they had a bike I could borrow for the race. But no one wanted to let me borrow one. (Someone must have leaked the info that a day of Shawn riding a bike is about as much wear and tear as a normal human puts on a bike in about a year.) Then I tried to get a refund since my bike was busted., but I was refused. So I went to the backup plan: I put some links back in the chain and singlespeeded it in the 53-15 this time (which I figured would be ok for race pace). There was a slight problem though: the chain was a bit to loose. Of course my solution was to drop the front derailluer onto the big chainring to create a chain tensioner / guide. It worked.....but it made my bike sound like a small prop plane. However, just in case I had a catastrophic failure, I stayed at the back of the field, which is a major problem when people start to pop. I kept going around people as they got dropped, but shortly after the midpoint of the race, a large gap opened up about 10 riders in front of me and the people in front of me sat up. I tried to go across but I stalled and couldn't turn the gear over fast enough in the wind. But I kept my little prop plane going as fast I could make it and ended up not getting lapped by the field until 2 to go which on a .75-1 mi track, I chalked up as a non-failure. And now my legs are uber sore from grinding into the headwind down the entire back straight at a cadence of around 40 or 50 for the latter portion of the race.
And all this happened because I said, "oh, I can make it another week or so on these parts." The chain was so worn that it only fully engaged between 5 and 7 teeth on the big chainring; the rest of the teeth would have the chain sitting up above the groove. Of course this is what made it skip a lot. But alas! all is not lost. Because I shall have my new bike built up tommorrow. Hopefully, I will post pics soon.
Oh and I was pretty happy about 2 other things on my adventure this weekend:
1. i was not harrassed by law enforcement while camping at the SC welcome center.
2. I found free wifi, possibly eminating from a giant peach near the NC/SC border.
See ya soon,
Friday, August 1, 2008
Instead of writing about the Mt. Holly Grand Prix with a side note about my accidents, I will tell you about my accidents with a side note about the race.
So it all started yesterday morning, I figured I'd just take the train/subway into work and then just ride back from work and tack on some leg openers to get ready for the race the next day. Taking the train still means riding 25 blocks through downtown Philly to the PATCO station. (I have no idea what PATCO stands for.) I was about 3 blocks from the station and I started up from a stop light. While standing up getting the bike up to speed and turning I skipped the chain. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but on this occasion I happened to be wearing flip-flops with no soles on them. (I ripped the rubberized soles off of them about a year ago because they were starting to come unglued, and I left them where I was sitting at Moe's as a kind of unusual footprint.) So back in my story, my left flip flop slid off of my pedal and straight into the spinning bladed spokes of my front wheel. Luckily the corner of my toenail stopped the spoke from cutting all the way through the tip of my big toe as my leg recoiled from the wheel. I gritted my teeth and grunted and swore a couple of times as I continued my attempt to not miss the train again. The stinging sensation kept getting worse as my flip-flop collected a pool of blood and I tried not to look at it. Once on the train, the bleeding continued as my flip-flop overflowed and left another kind of ffotprint on the train. When I got to work, I dumped Hydrogen Peroxide on it and it fizzed....a lot.
The next day I did the Mt. Holly Grand Prix in the 2/3 field. I felt really strong. Tried to bring the 3 man break back with 3 to go. We ended up catching them at the line, but they still got the top 3 spots. (The race was actually 7 min shorter than it was supposed to be.) I finished 12th (2 spots out of the money). I would have been happy had the course not been built for me.
The real story begins after the race. I was riding back to my car and was making the turn into the parking lot at about 12-15 mph, when I just slid out. An easy turn after a tough race with a bunch of super fast corners. I had no idea what happened. It seemed to happen in slow motion and i just kinda fell over. Weird. But I busted and bruised my hip and rashed up my arm. (which I will find out tomorrow is intensly reactive to sunlight. I jumped up completely and totally embarassed hoping that not many people saw it. Luckily only 2 or 3 people witnessed the disaster. I think I'll stay off the bike tomorrow.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Well I have run out of Oxi-Clean for my laundry so I must go to sleep.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Then I had to go to work where I was given a RedBull and another mechanic got a $12 tip. Hooray!
Friday, July 11, 2008
Have you ever wondered if some dryers have automatic dryer sheet dispensers in them? I often wonder if the incredibly old dryers I sometimes use could have such state of the art technology. I don't think I have ever used a dryer sheet. In fact, I don't think I really know exactly what one does. But quite often, I somehow find them amongst my clothes when I take them out of the dryer. Perhaps the dryer sheet fairy left them for me.....
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Well, for starters, I'm originally from Jacksonville, NC. Lived there for my junior years, then went to NC State in Raleigh, NC where I attempted to be the worst college student possible. When that didn't work I conformed and graduated......6 years after I started. I am now in Philadelphia for the summer, refusing to start life in the real world. Currently I am working 20-25 hrs a week in a bike shop in Suburbia Hell, NJ while riding my bike and racing as much as possible. I am subletting a room in the 10-bedroom UPenn Swing Dancing Troupe house. I bet this place gets absolutely wild during the school year (just guessing from the amount of empty alcohol and wine bottles on display downstairs). I found new things up here that I enjoy like soft pretzels and riding recklessly through Philly traffic, but I miss the NC State Cycling Team something fierce (not to mention double pacelines that have less than a 10mph difference between the speeds of the two lane). This summer I have temporarily put the ongoing quest to become more uber badass on hold, while I search for adventure, random oddities, and possibly candy mountain.
I will leave you with a video that both inspires and perplexes me: