Monday, August 22, 2005

starhill death march

Anybody who knows me, knows that i am meticulous when it comes to bicycle maintenance. I'm a stickler, i can't stand for my bike to be dirty in the least. After each ride, i clean my chain, wipe down the frame and inspect all visible parts for wear.

Of course the above paragraph is pure crap. I rarely do any of those things. I never clean my bike. The dust comes off when i ride in the rain. My handlebar tape has gaps in the wrap. I lube the chain when it gets noisy or on race day.

A former teammate once rode my bike a short way and the stopping power of my brakes led him to conclude "Dude, you're not a bike racer, you're a stunt man". Ouch.

I've had numerous consults on this, but i can't seem to change. A clean bike is a beautiful bike it's true. But given the choice between riding or cleaning, i go with the former.

Now cut to Saturday's ride, Maybe 20 or more riders showed up at Starhill for what Tom touted as the "hottest day of the year". I haven't heard if this was accurate but it felt that way. I figured with so many riders it would be a semi-relaxed ride with lots of folks sharing the love. Not exactly, it seemed like we started shedding people pretty early on. Numerous times there was talk of "slowing down" but i never really saw it happen.

While the majority of riders opted for 40 or 60, for some reason, i decided to stick it out for the whole 85ish with 4 other sadistic types (Tom, Jerry, Trey and Stan). Somewhere in the rough stuff near Solitude, my rear tire exploded in two places. I had to swallow a lot of jawing about what crappy condition my tires were in, while everyone sweated buckets and watched my spare explode because duct tape failed to seal the deal. Luckily for me, Stan had two of these things in his kit. BUY SOME TODAY. I know i will, along with new tires. They held everything together for the final 15 miles.

I wouldn't exactly describe it as a fun ride, but Trey did tell me about this place which needs to be visited.


Taylor said...

Out of curiosity, what tires do you use. When I was having all the issues with the constant flatting in June I was told that my tires are super soft, and therefore love to accept anything off the road. However, they apparently corner well. I was just curious what your years of experience have taught you about tire choice.

David said...

I catch grief on this b/c it seems like i recommend conti but then ride something else. The tire in question was a vittoria. I raced on these all year plus most training races. I've also been running Specialized tires. Back when i didn't mind messing with glue, the conti sprinter was the de facto tire for me. The vittoria clincher has been great for all around racing and training, i just pushed this one too far.

Roadrider said...

Yep. One of those Park tire boots saved the day a couple of weeks ago when one of the guys put a big rock through his tire up on top of the Luling-Destrehan bridge. Of course, a close look at either of my tires (both of which are hand-me-downs) would make most riders cringe.

eric said...

I feel your pain my brotha in flith. My tires are so thin I can see the air in them. Countless chips and nics have ravaged my tires beyond reasonable neglect and edging toward abuse but I refuse to change because I haven't had a flat in 7 months. Gonna ride this train to end of the line.

Amy said...

First off, I really don't want to hear anyone complaining about any rides, heat, hills, or any other cycling matter, since I HAVE NOT BEEN ON MY BIKE SINCE JANUARY!! Taking enough time off the bike to grow another human's kidneys, brain, spine, skeleton and everything else will make you NEVER complain about any ride again. I'd better not hear about this idea next year in June.

Secondly, I always kinda loved that David isn't anal about bikes. After having a slew of biker studs tell me, in every fashion possible, what to do with my bike, how to do it, and then, oh, no, let me do it for you, it's rather refreshing to have a husband who would rather just ride. And let me discover what I don't know about bike mechanics on my own.

Of course, he's always happy to change a tire for me...And although I say all chicks should know how to change one, it sure is nice to have someone do it for you.