Friday, August 06, 2010

Road Rash, Gears, Presta Nuts, A$$ Razor and Lust

It's been an interesting couple of weeks. I had my first significant wreck on my road bike in some time, and it was a wreck unlike any others I've had. This one involved another person, but not a person on a bike, a person running out into the road with out fear of cars or trucks, or in this case cyclists.

I'll spare the details- but needless to say I hit said person, said person hit the deck, I went airborne with my bike, and we all found out that gravity was indeed working very well that day.

Said person took a ride in a box on wheels with a shiny red light on the roof, and was later released from the hospital with some cuts and a mild concussion. I took a ride in a grey truck back to the top of the hill to then sort out the damage. Busted helmet (did it's job), significant bruising of the back, excellent assortment of road rash on the right side of my body, a torqued front wheel, a destroyed saddle, big flat spots on both the front and rear wheel from some wild skidding before impact and a bit of missing memory.

Needless to say I didn't kit back up and go for a ride, I took that day and the next off the bike.

Two days later the girls and I headed up to GGTOC for the weekly race. I was still sore so I took the Big Mama to give me a little bit easier ride. I loaded up the car and off we went. When we got up to GGTOC I unloaded the car and got Bean and Em's bike out and ready, and then grabbed mine and put on the front wheel. I then went to roll the bike over to the rack and the front wheel wouldn't roll. Hmmmm.

Check the quick release, all is good- but no roll. Then I had an "oh sh%t" moment- I'd grabbed the "wrong" front wheel. The wheel that had the 185mm rotor instead of the 180mm rotor. Argh.

I told the girls I wasn't going to be able to ride and that they needed to do the race on their own. That wasn't receive to well, but they were getting ready to go when I had an idea. I could shim the caliper and we'd be good to go- but with what?

I looked around the car and couldn't come up with anything- but then I saw a spare tube and looked at the nut the sits on the valve stem of a presta tube. I only needed about 2.5mm of shim, maybe even less. Could it be that that would work? It was the right thickness but I figured there was no way in hell the threads would be the right diameter or pitch. But I gave it a try.

Holy cow it worked and I was in business. I was very pleased with my discovery and after a couple minutes of messing with the front brake we were in business. I raced first with the girls and then did my run, and despite my injury felt pretty good and had a good ride. However about halfway through my run I started to think about the upcoming 24HOGG, and started thinking that I've done SS solo for the past three years- and wondering if I should try to run gears- after all I bought this new rig and with my back being pretty tender a bit of give and gears might be a smart move. That was pretty much the thinking running through my head on the backside of the course. That and thinking how easy it was to clean Whiplash on gears instead of the SS- it pretty much sealed the deal. Well that and a conversation with JJ that revealed he wouldn't write me off if I ran a geared bike at 24HOGG.

The next day was spent using Facebook to find out what I should run for a saddle, as my long serving Avocet O2 Ti had been a casualty of the ride. In its place (temporarily) was a Sella Italia SLR 135 that I had in my parts bin. A very "nice" saddle- carbon shell, ti rails, very light- 135gms- but also very narrow and VERY firm. The saddle had another name- the Ass Razor, but it would have to do while I waited form my new WTB Devo to show up. Actually the AR has served me well- and has given my backside a good warm up for 24HOGG.

So all is good. Then I read Dicky's blog and he reveals he's building up a Carbon Tall Boy from Santa Cruz. I tried to not let it happen, but within moments I was on the Santa Cruz site (just like a number of years ago) and I began to drool. The bike lust had taken effect- and I suddenly wanted to donate a kidney so that I could own a Tall Boy. I had done so well staying away from looking at the bike. I knew it was out there, in fact I had gotten an email from Santa Cruz back when they released the bike as I had been bugging them after I converted to 29er wheels about doing a 29er version of the Blur- as that had been one of the best bikes I'd ever owned- it was just that I had drank the 29er Kool-Aid and couldn't see myself riding 26er wheels again. Santa Cruz replied and scoffed at my idea- saying they didn't see 29er as being anything they were interested in and wished me luck.

My how times have changed. Not only a 29er platform from SC with VPP, but done in carbon. Oh my. So now I need to up my antibikelust medication so that I don't do anything stupid.


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