Thursday, July 23, 2009

Part 2

So where did I leave off? Oh right, mile 5... So Jenny drives me to Martin's place with the replacement bike on the roof (did mention I married the greatest woman ever?). As I'm swapping out the pedals I remembered the C'dale only holds one water bottle. It's going up to near 100 degrees (mind you it's been 81 degrees for the past two weeks until this day) and I'm only going to have one bottle. So I stuff one in my jersey and pray or frequent water stops.
We get through PA and into DE and it doesn't get any flatter. At around 3,000 feet of climbing in just 60 miles I start worrying how I'm going to do 170 miles. Then comes Newark. I've been all over the world and I can say for certain Newark is one of the worst towns I've ever been to. This place should be napalmed on a daily basis until it's just a burnt spot on the map. Shithole would be a good way to describe it. It was like riding through a white trash version of east LA. Of all the things that went wrong this day Newark was the worst one.
After pedaling through said shithole we finally make it to the canal. The only way to get over the canal is to ride on 896, a local highway. That wasn't all that bad. It wouldn't have been bad if it was the only highway we had to ride on. But after all the DE bike route signs had been torn down we found ourselves riding down rt. 15 which Martin was sure would bring us out "somewhere around where we want to go". Great.... At one point rt. 15 was closed and we had to detour back out to a highway. This was starting to get annoying. We got back onto rt. 15 when that stooped being rt. 15. We ended up on random back roads wandering south. At one point I knew we were in trouble when Martin said not to worry "as long as we keep heading south" at which point I looked down at my computer and noticed we were heading West. Martin simply replied. "Oh... Well then we need to turn left." We were approaching 6 hours in the saddle and we had no clue where we were or how to get where we were going. A call to my sister, a google map search, and we started heading in the right direction. A few more calls, a flat tire, hearing Martin say we have 4 more hours to go and I threw in the towel. We weren't going anywhere fast, DE roads are ridiculously bad when it comes to being marked, and I couldn't bear the thought f arguing with my sister and mom about this trip. So I called Michelle (sister) and had her drive up and pick us up in some hick town. By the way, if you ever want to have a good time, get dressed up n spandex and hang out at the only gas station in a rural DE town. People gave us looks like we had two heads. To be fair there were some cool kids who gave us direction to Dover.
I can honestly say I will never ride a bike in DE again. F* that!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

F Delaware Part 1

So Martin and I decided to ride down to Rehobeth despite the forecast. I should have turned around and cancelled it at mile 3 when my chain dropped.
And let me go into this chain thing. I took my bike to the Bike Barn (now Phoenix Cycles)when I first put this derailleur on because it wouldn't shift into my 12 ring for some reason. I had this happen on the bike when I first assembled it and Roy at the Bike Barn had fixed it in just a few seconds, no problemo. This time I took it in and the other guy "fixed" it. The entire time trashing me (although I didn't tell him it was me) for my adjustment of the derailleur. Saying who ever did it was an idiot and if I rode it like this (which I was) that it'd throw the derailleur into the wheel (which I obviously hadn't). Whatever dude, just fix it and shut up. So he "fixed" it and charged me a couple bucks and I was on my way. Soon after that I was riding and shifted into my small front ring and my chain dropped. WTF? Why did that happen if the guy was just "fixing" my derailleurs?? Whatever, maybe it was a fluke and I never need to use my small ring anyway. Well then Nebo came and I did need to use my small ring and guess what my chain dropped twice in that race and I had to bail on the 4th lap (albeit I was dropped on my own lack of fitness anyway and ready to quit).
So at mile 3 on my way to DE I drop my chain as I shift into the small ring. "Damn it!" Ok settle down it won't happen again if I shift delicately. Approach another hill at mile 5 and slowly down shift into the small ring and "BANG, KAPOW!!" my chain drops and also gets wrapped around the rear cog and rips my rear derailleur right into the rear wheel. Yea, way to go fuck face. You're a hell of a mechanic. Telling me I had it all wrong. Well mine may have been ass backwards but my chain never dropped and I didn't ruin a brand new Dura-Ace derailleur. Fuck you ass hat! I'll be paying you a visit soon to tell you what a great wrench you are.
Luckily I didn't break the frame on my Tarmac or I'd be in jail for Assault and Battery on a mechanic. So I called Jenny and had her bring out my spare bike (yes I have spares, thank God). Well Jenny never loaded a bike onto the bike rack and I tried to calmly in my non-calm state explain to her how to put it on the car. She seemed to understand how it worked (best wife ever by the way) after me yelling at her for a few mins. Then I receive a call a min later from her frantically telling me the bike had fallen off of the rack and onto the car. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! What else could go wrong??

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


For the last week it's been beautiful. Low 80's slight breeze from the Northwest, and sunny. Tomorrow I'm riding 150 miles or more to the beach with Martin and suddenly it's going to be close to 90, humid, raining, and winds gusting from the south. Awesome...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Club rider

I've said in the past how annoying club riders are in their faux kits and their loud mouthed antics on the starting line. This year I've joined a club and have put on the wannabe pro looking kit hoping that being on a team would provide me with the adequate training I've been missing. It has not. To the team's defense they do have weekday rides in the AM. However, they are in Philly and I am not. Even if I was, my work schedule would not allow it. The only thing I've gotten out of being a club rider so far is endless emails about people's race reports.
So I was thinking of dropping the team thing at the end of this year and spending my money on something useful like a coach. A quick search of local coaches set me straight. $200-$350/month!!! WTF? Who can afford that? The sport is expensive enough just to buy the gear and race entries. I'm not saying these coaches aren't worth that. I just can't imagine paying that kind of money for anything. I thought my cell phone bill was too much money a month...
So maybe I'll just go back to being a independent who gets his training tips from books, magazines, and the net. I love this sport but the cost to be competitive is just too daunting and depressing. At least with running all you needed was a pair of shoes every 6 months.

Google Maps

Too long I've relied on other peoples training routes. It has however worked out good as I've gotten to do some amazing routes and amazing local climbs. None of which I've ever remembered. Which makes me want a Garmin even more then before. So yesterday I decided to try and devise my own route using gooogle maps. This was after searching mapmyrides for a local rode an finding nothing worth riding. At least not in the area I wanted to ride. So I put together a nice short 2.5hr ride that would drop me off at the in-laws.

I found out one bad thing about Google maps... it's completly inaccurate! Street names aren't what it says they are. So I had to guess where to turn. I didn't do the mileage pedometer thing so I just guessed based on memory. Luckily I guessed right. Or close to it anyway and found my way. The other thing Google doesn't display is when a road goes from paved to completely washed out gravel roads. That was a nice surprise.

So I think I'll start memorizing those beautiful routes other people have led me on and go from there. Trying on my own using an online map is clearly not the way to go.
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