Monday, March 9, 2009

Bike commits Seppuku - Greenville Weekend 3

(Yes, this is the first post in some time, but I will try to keep it updated as the adventure season gets into full swing.)
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 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,

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