Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Seven-Hour Ride and an Awkward Trip to the Bike Shop

Yesterday was the infamous really, really big ride four (sometimes three) weeks before the Ironman.  Since joining QT2 Systems in 2008 I have not had to do this ride by myself because we usually had some organized training weekend.  Not this time.  So yesterday morning I decided to hit the road really early and do my nice loop up and over the Kanc.  This was the same route I rode last year in preparation for Ironman Utah except that time it was 40 degrees and raining and three of the six of us opted to go back and ride the trainers after about the first hour while Jesse, Cait and I continued on, though not without a stop at a ski shop for them to buy some extra clothes. 

Fortunately, for my solo ride the weather was a bit more cooperative, though still not quite as nice as I might have liked.  It seems like any time I choose to do this particular ride I never get a clear view from the top.  But it was nice to be in shorts and not spend a moment of that ride shivering.  Although once I approached the top there was an annoying and persistent drizzle that was just enough to put a damper on the ride.  As far as long rides go, while physically demanding, in all honesty, it was fairly painless.  And the fact that it was a loop and I didn't have to constantly check the run time and wonder when I had to turn around made it seem to go by quite fast.  No crazy wildlife encounters this time although towards the very end of my ride when I had the pleasure of going up a hill about 3/4 of a mile with a 13% grade I happened to come across someone coming down... on a skateboard.  I did not have the opportunity to see him reach the bottom but I swear I felt as though I was watching a 14 or 15-year old boy just moments before his death.  But from what I saw of him, he did remain upright..... 

This afternoon I decided it was finally time to bring Dad's bike into the bike shop.  First, considering how he turned out, you'd be surprised at how little damage there was to the bike.  The front wheel is a bit off and I don't know yet if it even needs to be replaced or if it can just be fixed as it is.  The left shifter was bent in but that fix is also apparently pretty simple.  As far as I could tell, that's it.  There's nothing else wrong with it.  A couple of weeks ago I also finally went and rode down the hill he crashed on, just to see if it made any more sense.  Well, I was going a little over 30mph, so that will do it.  But also at the peak of speed the road didn't really curve as much as I thought it did, so then it made a little less sense.  And then when I put the chain back on the bike today it was in the small ring, which also doesn't make sense if he was speeding down a hill, but I should probably just stop trying to figure it out because of course we'll never know. 

Anyway, the bike shop up here which is also the one he got his bikes from I also use sometimes and one of the mechanics knows us pretty well.  I honestly had no idea if he knew or not, though I suspected he did.  Unfortunately he was not the one who greeted me.  So I showed the guy the damage and I had been kind of dreading this part for, well, the nearly nine months it's been since it was apparent that I was now responsible for this bike.  "Did you crash?"  "Uh, no, my father did."  "Is he okay?"  "No."  Poor guy, it's not his fault he didn't know that.  Well, a few minutes later the other mechanic came out to assess the damage and he's not the kind of guy who would come out and offer condolences or anything, he just told me what would need to be fixed and then when I went to grab a new bottle cage that I needed for my own bike he told me to just take it. 

So at least that part is over and done with.  Aside from the picking it up, but that won't require any explanations on my part.  I think I'm going to keep the bike.  He'd only had it for a few weeks, anyway.  Maybe sell my old road bike that I haven't ridden in a very, very long time.  Two tri bikes and two road bikes might be pushing it in the stable for me.  I always felt like my LeMond was too big for me, anyway.  Anybody want it?  2004 Zurich, components are in great shape, you can have the clip-on aero bars if you want.  I only rode it as my main bike for 1 season and then as a back-up, though it has been in an Ironman.  It's a 59 so you have to be tall!  If you don't want it, you can at least suggest to me how much I should charge for it.  I spent about $3500 on it way back when and it's been sitting safely in the garage for a very long time with some very occasional rides...

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