Monthly Archives: September 2008

Time to make the Tubbies

After my unfortunate end, and negative prognosis, regarding my newly glued tubbies, I decided to give it a go myself.  What is the worst that can happen? It come off again?  Might as well get some practice in and try it myself.  So, after cleaning the rims (again) with Goof-Off, wiping them down with some acetone, and cracking open beers, I was ready to implement the “secret Belgium method” as told by GeWilli who learned it originally from the Peanut.  I can’t go into details (because it’s a secret), but can say that no, it does not involve tape.  What Belgian would use tape?  Please!  Had to wrestle with the tire a bit to get it on the rim, and made on (hopefully) small error, but it rolls without a wobble, looks like it is on there, so who knows.

Won’t be able to use them this weekend of course.  Looking forward to Bedford.  Might be a mudfest.  Raced all last year without rain, and now might have wet conditions two out of three races.  I’m signed up for both the 3/4 35+ and 1/2/3 35+ because I am a bad person and deserve all of the suffering.  Perhaps through experiencing pure pain I can reach a true spiritual realm and oneness with (insert your preferred diety here).

Speaking of which, swimming has been going well, if you considering suffering to equal “going well.”  Westside Swim is a great set-up, and I am enjoying the punishment and sore arms.  You never know what to expect, which is nice at 5:30am.  Good to start the day off with surprises.  Triathletes beware!

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Inauspicious

That’s the word to sum things up at the moment.  Two races down, nothing spectacular.  Amesbury went fairly well for a first race.  After being held up at the start, I was able to work through the field and nail a 5th place.  However, the crack scoring crew had me 25th or something like that (behind people I lapped), so I was denied my glory of 5th.  I hurt like a dog during the race, which was pretty wet and energy sapping.  At least there is a cool picture of me coming out of the woods with my ‘game face’ on.  Too bad it didn’t translate into a better result.

The next race was Sucker Brook, and I was pumped to put out a better performance.  Lined up in the second row of a course that should suit me being less technical and more power.  Too bad things didn’t work out as expected.  I rolled a decent start (still not great) and was railing pretty good.  However, two F’ ups did me in.  My front tire hit a stair section, causing it to get out of the drop-outs and jam.  After a quick fix I was back at it.  Trying to pass people that I already passed.

Then, I screwed up the sand section and had to dismount.  Got passed by people I passed TWICE and had to try to pass them again.  So, there were a few that I pass THREE TIMES in one race which is not a healthy way to approach things (pictures here).  I finished 10th, which should have been better.  Still don’t have the wheels to get into that next gear.  I did the Cat 3 race just for some more fitness and abuse.  Just rolled getting a workout until the fourth lap when I railed right into the back of a guy who was stuck in the sand, went OVER my handle bars, onto my back.  Thankfully I was in soft sand, so no damage.  But, my family was there to see the carnage, and I had to assure my 3 1/2 year old that daddy was okay.  I rolled an extra lap just to let her know that I was okay since it would not be good to have her see daddy pack it in after wrecking.  I pulled 30 minutes into the 45 minute race because I was toast after the first 40 minutes in the other race.

Big Bad Cort ended up with the win for MRC.  Way to be!!  Hopefully more to come for him.  I’m going to try to find my stride.  Hopefully this weekend.

Catastrophic Failure

What a better way to update an un-updated blog that to describe complete and catastrophic failure on a number of levels.  Wednesday cross practice at Wrentham.  There’s a tree in the way.  No problem.  I have a chain saw.  I’ll just cut that thing and move it.  Right?  Wrong. Chainsaw refused to cut, leaving me looking like a total dumb*** with my manly Craftsman chainsaw.  After repeated attempts, a lot of smoke from the burning wood, and finally the thing thankfully running out of gas, the tree remained.  It wasn’t until three or four guys just moved it out of the way that the obstruction was no long a nuisance.

So, after FAILURE #1, onto bigger and better things.  After only getting 1/2 lap warm-up because of my woodsmanship, I lined up for the first lap.  No problems there as I was able to maintain a pretty good pace with the front group, and was generally feeling good for a change.

Onto the second interval which was two laps of the course. Again, good start, grooving through the sections, feeling fine.  Until the second time around I nailed something and started to hear that familiar *hiss* of air escaping my tire.  Just to make sure I flated, I nailed another something and finished the deal, proceeding to run my bike through the woods.  That makes for FAILURE #2.  Thankfully I just bought a bunch of tubes, so I was stocked and ready for tire-changing action. After a quick change, onto the last interview of THREE laps.

Started out fine again, in the first 10, feeling pretty good. That is besides my Michellin Jets sketching out all over the place.  Bad tire selection, but good for bike handling skills.  As I make my way up the short power climb out of the saddle.  I am suddenly left holding my handle bars which ceased to be connected to my bike.  That would be wrong.  FAILURE #3.  Handle bars should be connected to the steering tube when trying to ride the bike.

Since I was out of the saddle, I immediately went forward, nearly impaling myself on the newly sheared tube.  I sat on the ground, inspecting my new wound (future scar), waiting to see how much blood was going to come out.  It is that moment in between the injury and the realization of the extent of the injury.  Nothing really hurts yet, nothing much is happening, except there is an opening where there previously wasn’t an opening.

Luckily, no major bleeding and not much of a gash to speak of.  As I hobbled over with my broken bike, one of the spectators mentioned she is an ER doc, and she could look at it (thereby saving me three hours in an ER and a $75 co-pay).  No stitches needed (although certainly an option.  Just enough to cause some pain and discomfort, along with ripping my shorts so that I need a new pair.  Without any substantial medical equipment, I irrigated with a water bottle and then some basic dressing.    Not a bad job, considering I could have de-balled myself, cut into my leg in a bad way, and/or impaled myself onto the tube completely.

Or, I could have pulled one of these: