You know how parents sometimes know when their kids are sick even when the kids aren’t presenting that abnomal of symptoms that’s what I felt like. I noticed something was off last Friday with Charming (my Superfly but figured I would share his name at this point) when I was riding up in Leadville, it just didn’t feel right. I noticed the turning was sluggish and it felt loose and not like it should feel. I did a road ride on Sunday and then took Monday off and did an
|Road blocks please go away|
easy ride with Wayne at Marshal Mesa on Tuesday. I had thought that maybe the ride on Friday was due to the lower air pressure I was running or that maybe I didn’t get my front skewer tight enough so put a little more air in the tires and had Wayne tighten my skewer. No such luck though it just wasn’t clicking, braking was hard and the corners were lose. It was like I was a raggedy Anne doll. Something was definitely not right but I didn’t know what was wrong. I told the guy I’m dating and he said he’d look at it on Wednesday before I went to race short track. The guy isn’t just a guy pretending he knows what he’s doing when he looks at a bike but is actually a professional mechanic for a race team. I trusted him to get down to the source of the problem, even if it was all in my head.
I gave it to him Tuesday night and he worked on it Wednesday morning and then brought it to my work, a lot cleaner, I might add. He said the headset had been loose, which he had tightened a couple weeks before, but he also switched out my skewer to one that was much better and easier to tighten just to be safe. I thanked him and used my lunch break to put together my gear for short track that night. A little while later he took another look at my bike and noticed it was a little loose again and wanted to look at it again. I don’t really get too involved with the mechanics of my bike, I suppose I should but I trust the people who work on it so went about work taking care of a couple things that I needed to do before leaving.
You know when something bad happens and no one is really telling you what’s going on that’s what was happening. I was stuck on hold when I could see movement happening in the shop, my bike was suspended in the rack but missing the front half. One mechanic walked by mumbling about needing to look for a Superfly in a 17.5- that’s my bike and my size, what are they looking for? I couldn’t make out what they were saying from that far away but they were taking pictures and not doing a lot of work. The Guy disappeared into our warehouse and I walked back looking for him. We’ll probably just need to find a part or something and maybe head up to Leadville on Friday instead of Thursday night. I was not prepared for what came next.
|That’s not suppose to look like that|
“How bad is it?” I asked.
He looked at me and said, “It’s not rideable, you can’t ride it. It’s broken, I’m sorry.” And then I just started crying. How can this be happening, it’s so close to Leadville. How is this happening again, I was so close. I didn’t really know what to say. In between tears I stated, “I just want to get to the race.” He explained to me that the cup holding the bearings in the headset had detached from the frame, which it isn’t suppose to do. It’s a warranty issue.
That’s great it’s a warrant issue, but Leadville isn’t going to wait they were nice last year when I had a traumatic brain injury but probably not again. The problem I have is all the girls I know ride a 15.5″ and all the guys I know ride a 19″ or larger frame. Not only that but the type of bike that I need for the race is also pretty specific. I sat there for a minute in a daze and then took a lap and went to the office. I didn’t even know where to begin. None of the stores had my bike in stock so that wasn’t even an option. The guy I’m dating has a single speed that he could convert to gears so was calling around for the derailleur hanger. The biggest problem we were running into is the Trek World is happening in Madison, WI so most of reps for the company are at it which made it very hard to get a hold of anyone. One warranty claim and multiple voicemails later to Trek the guy I’m dating found me a bike. One of the riders on his team is the same size as me and is letting me use his race cross country bike. It’s a Raleigh Talus 29 Carbon Pro. I haven’t ridden it yet but we switched my saddle and wheels over and will put my stem and handlebars on tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll be able to ride it around on my lunch break and then on Friday I’ll ride up at Leadville on it for a short bit to get a better feel. I guess I have 100 miles to bond with it.
I am a little nervous to be switching this late in the game, especially because I was so bonded to my bike and had really gotten a feel for how it handled on the entire course. I was telling The Guy tonight as crappy as it is to happen at least it happened today and not Friday when we can remedy it to some extent. Certainly not ideal but I know my name and what year it is so I really can’t complain. But with the biggest mechanical failure to happen just days before the gun goes off, that means I’m free from them during the race, right?
Poor Charming, he can’t take me to the Big Dance anymore. And I bought new shoes for it….