Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Weekly Beatdown

Today's beatdown started weird. My shoe felt funny and it turned out the front two bolts were missing from the cleat entirely. Waah! No Melody Mizer warm up for me. I headed to the shop and the guys there seemed a little dissatisfied with my lack of proper maintenance. I guess it's like when a guy brings his car in to the shop... "My brakes sound funny" and it turns out the pads are long worn out and the rivets have eaten entirely through the rotors and finally now getting into the vanes. It was like that.

In my defense, my driveway is so steep that I have to walk up every time (3 or 4 times a week) and it gnaws away the front of my cleats. I probably put ten times more wear on them than the average rider in the same amount of time. I'd ground the heads off of the bolts and I guess the rest just rattled out. On the right shoe, I'd managed to break off one of the adjustment screws entirely too. I'm not sure how that happened. I'd noticed the additional float about a month ago. Guess I should have looked at the shoe. I wonder if that's part of why my knee's been bothering me.

Anyway... The ride itself was tough. The Northstar guys set the pace and it was fast. Matt was tricked out in his new Northstar kit too and it looked good. Maybe not as good as his Metal jersey, but still, pretty good. He was hanging back with me though. Neither of us had the legs to contend with the leaders. Several different times I found myself sitting on the back, in the drops, spinning frantically, with no taller gear and still dropping back. I hung on though, the group lost a little steam climbing Elmo and I actually ended up near the front there. They attacked again though and it was rough.

I got split at the turn onto Karr Road. The leaders made it out in front of a car. I called for a stop and stopped but nobody else did. The driver waved us through but I was already too far back. It was a lonely crawl back in over Sawnee and into town. Phil and Matt caught me about halfway back and the entire rest of the group about a mile after that.

The ride was great but man! We're having a bit of a problem with people crossing the center line. It's never anyone I recognize so it might just be bad apples from a distant galaxy but it seems like every ride I'm saying: "Hey guys, watch your center lines" a couple of times. Today, three different riders did it with their heads down, while cars were coming the other way. I understand sometimes you get pushed over but that wasn't the deal today. These guys crossed the line to move forward in the pack. "Yeah, but the riders ahead of me echeloned across the road when I moved up. I had to go around." Yeah, you got blocked in. Classic. Next time, launch a false attack, draw out the block, then slip to the right around the last rider. Even if you don't care about getting hit, please consider that your airborne, dismembered corpse is all but guaranteed to take out another rider, the driver or a passenger. And, can you imagine the guilt the average person would have to live with if they killed someone, even if it wasn't their fault? I mean, come on. I doubt anyone reading this is an offender but if anyone is, please guys, watch your center lines.

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