9 June 2007

An update, sort of.

By now you should be pretty familiar with the all too familiar, lack of updates. For those of you that have been around for a while it generally means two things, a relapse of CBF disease, or things have been pretty hectic in the work department. This time it’s a hard one to figure out, more like a combination of the both. I have been run a little raw around the edges. And on the other hand, I have had enough downtime to get the odd report out, but somehow things have just got in the way, ohh and the CBF is coming and going, so I am not sure what’s up.

Keeping up with current news on the blog, is kind of like the riding with a slow leak on your bike. You know it’s there, you can feel that tire getting a little bit wobbly. Part of you is still in denial about what is going on, so constant looking down and hoping it is not happening is not going to help, but you still do it. You know you have to stop and fix it eventually, but you spin it out as long as you can. You head directly towards home, as short as possible route as you can find thinking that you can make it without having to empty the jersey and make a rubber picnic on the side of the road (the analogy is coming). Things start getting a bit interesting at this stage, the bike takes on a mind of it’s own, weaving uncontrollably across the road, giving you a ride like you have a skin full of booze (I read it in a book somewhere, not form personal experience, of course). At this stage you have had enough, time to give it the quick pump to get you home. Yeah, like that’s going to work, but you have been doing the calculations, for the last 15 mins, if I pump it full now, it will take me all the way home, and I can fix it later. Such a great concept, so out with the mini pump, so small that that it looks very cool when you pull it out when looking for cash for that caffeine fix. Yeah, it looks real cool sticking out the back of your jersey, nice and small, carbon, and ohh so cute. But we have a mission, a slow leak and it’s time to shut it down, and get home.

Just taking your mind even further away. What a load, god damn inlaws.

Off the bike, and on with the pump, now some seriously fast pumps of the pumps. A pencil inserted into a drinking straw would probably be more efficient at pumping than what you have been carrying around for the last few months. So a thousand or so pumps later, you are back on the road, even though you are covered in sweat, and you can not even feel the handle bars because you hands are numb still, your feeling pretty good about making it home. So things are looking good, your house is getting closer, you have this thing beat, but hang on, perhaps your calculations were not so good. As your tire seems to be going down a bit faster than before, and yes, a few more checks, a few more wobbles, and the odd stop to use the old thumb-o-meter just to make sure. And your suspicions were correct, the higher pressure that you just sweated to push in, has increased the escape of valuable air, just slightly. So a few more quick calculations, out with the mini pump (that’s if you didn’t already throw it away), a few thousand more pumps, and your off.

By now you have been feeling every bump, crack and stone on the road, thoughts of what shit roads you have to train on, and the denial is still there. Denial in the fact that you count your lucky stars that you don’t get a puncture every day you ride, so you are kind of enjoying the experience (flats-r-fun fantasies). About now it’s time to start riding with some serious weight transfer off the said problem. If the problem is at the back, leaning as far off the front of the bike is ok. Out of the saddle, in the drops, head over the front wheel, this is great for getting another 3 or 4 km at least. For a front wheel, the old lean back trick works a treat, holding on to the bars with the fingertips just barely touching the bars. Any weight on the wheel now is asking for problems, as anyone can tell you. But it’s worth a crack, as there is only few km’s to go, and still no need to fix it. It’s about now that you are thinking of pumping up the tire for the third time. But you still have one trick up your sleeve, the old ride on the grass trick. Even with a almost flat tire, there is that two of three km’s you can gain at least without destroying the rim. But that driveway every few meters is almost the end of your options.

How the world sometimes sees us as cyclists.

The denial is over, the mini pump will not be coming out again, you know it’s flat, your still a few km’s to home, it’s decision time. Fix it or fuck it, the rim that is, a tough decision, but for a mechanic it’s an easy one, run the rim, take the risk, and rebuild it with a new rim if you have to. Just remember while running those red lights while riding the rim, that you won’t be stopping too quick if there is any cars coming at you. But at night, when that rim starts to wear down to the spoke nipples, it does give the most beautiful showers of sparks as you slowly skid to a stop, definitely worth it in the long run. Or of course you can fix it, but then a few more problems come to light. But now I need to get back to the root of the problem, this was a sly way to take your mind off the racing for a moment, but it’s not going to work. Small update soon.

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