11 October 2005

Worlds Part 2

The road races were looming as we moved into Friday, the Women were racing 138km on Saturday morning, U23 Men were racing 180km Saturday midday, with the Elite men racing 260km Sunday morning. I had my work cut out for me as that was quite few bikes to sort out, plus don’t forget the spare bikes that most of them had as well.

The course was in the middle of the city, so pre riding it was a nightmare, we took the car around a day earlier, almost two and a half hours to drive around it, at 28km or so, gives you an idea of the traffic present. The organization decided to do a rolling blockade, with about thirty police cars and about as many bikes about midday, so the competitors could get a good look at the course. What a nightmare in this town, with no traffic rules to speak of, nose to tail traffic everywhere, cars sporting multiple dings, this was going to be fun. All competitors lined up to pre-ride the course, I worked it out at about 375ish riders, what a sight. Fortunately I got to hang out at the start finish as there was a load of people wanting to drive in the team car, sweet an hour off for the week. I slept on a park bench in the sun, for an hour and a half, I will sightsee in the car the next day with a few laps, think I will be doing about 32 for the day…

After the pre-ride, I started work on the five girls bikes, and the boys U23, only about 10, sweet, there was still a few hours daylight, and the nights were pleasant, not so hot. All things went well, most of the bikes we had sorted out during the week so it was looking like it was going to be an early finish. I should have known better, it was not to be, this stuff just seems follow me around time and time again. You cause trouble in life, you have to be able to take it as well, I love giving it, and I love taking it. Sitting down for a late lunch, Magness Backstead, one of the pro men who rides for Liquigas, gave me the news that he was expecting a new bike to arrive today sometime. That was pushing it, last thing I need for the old stress levels is a big (7 foot, at least, measured at 2000 watts in the sprint) riding a new bike in the worlds for the first time. Not ten minutes after he told me I saw the delivery truck pull up, the box he was dropping off did not look like bike size, I opened it and not to my surprise, it was just the frame. Damn, this is getting worse, no cables for Campag, a full frame swap and the race in two days.

Well after working with older, tight ass, cheap as, kiwi customers for years, it was no problem saving the cables, and the frame swapped over in record time, sleep at 1am, plus he gets a day to shake down the new build, now I’m not worried. Life would be too easy if everything fell into to place for us (you listening kids), life was meant to be a challenge, too many people let the smallest of things get them down, when big things come along they just give up. The rest of us deal with things as they arise, the bigger the problem, the bigger the smile on our face when we solve them. The world is round, with stuff all over it, how easy is that to work it out?

Two more gripping instalments on the Worlds to come..

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