Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Man-Up or Go Home

So I went home. Post over....Yeah RIGHT!!!

But no, what happened was for days I have been trying to get in a long road ride. Forecast for Wednesday when Sean has me down for long miles is cold at 17f, possible snow and a little windy so wind chill will be a factor.

I have been joking with a friend who commutes in all weather and comes home in all weather in the dark that I need to be like him and man-up to the weather and just ride. So when I go to bed I am ready to ride. Good thing because I get Zero sleep. Two nights this week with sub 3 hours sleep. I was still looking at the clock in disbelief at 4am. I think I may have dozed off at 5 and the alarm went off at, you guessed it-6am.

The two guys who were thinking of going bail, but as planned at 7:40 I am out the door for a what I hope is a 3 hour commute to work (usually 55 minutes). I have Manned UP-YESSIR!! As I get to the top of Old Mill my fingers are already cold and hurting. There doesn't seem to be any help for them so I decide to take Berkshire down slow to save on wearing out my already thin brake pads down Old Mill.

I know from driving these roads Sunday that they are loaded with gravel for grip, but I recall thinking to myself "I don't get flats". This reminds me of another time racing go karts when I made the mistake to count my chickens before they hatch. At Gratten in Mi I was still a top 5 racer without a win, but I was really flying in practice. Going down the straightaway I let myself think "I think I am gonna win today". As I braked for turn one and made the right the piston broke and the motor crunched and grinded itself to smithereens for what seemed like 15 seconds. We poured piston bits out of the exhaust, carb and air filter!! Well, I promised myself to never say that to myself again, so you can now guess what happened next on the bike!!

As I make the left on Epping to head north to base of Old Mill I plan on stopping for a minute to warm up my hands and take a nature break. Well, I make the turn from Epping to Old Mill and my fronts going soft. Now I wont complain because, knock on wood I rarely get flats. By Chagrin River Road its flat and I nurse it to one of the town buildings, take a seat on a bench and start the dreaded process in the cold and wind.

To make a long story short, my spare tube which was already patched needed two more patches as it turns out!! I kept pumping and pumping!! Is the pump broken? Should I blast it with a CO2? Eventually I contemplated patching the original tube which got pierced by one of the millions of stones used to provide traction on Berkshire. But my feet had now frozen along with my hands and the thought of taking off my gloves to patch and 2 more hours of commuting then the afternoon commute home suddenly didn't seem that appealing. I was defeated.

I gave myself a bit of grief as my wife pulled up in the van to take me home. I should go home, put on another wheel or a new tube and get back on the road I said to myself, only this time a direct route to work for my usual 16 mile and/or 55 minute commute. What did I do? I stripped down to shorts, set up my rollers and road bike and rode for 1:45 doing some intervals to pass the time. I would have gone 2 hours, but my sit bones had had it so I cooled down and called it a day.

So I tried to Man-up, but I did put in a 45 minute ride outdoors on wet roads and low temps and backed it up with a 1:45 on the rollers. So what did I do to make sure this isn't likely to happen again? Why of course I spent more money (I dont really have).

Tomorrow I'll try again and this time with Conti 4 Seasons with Duraskin and reinforced sidewalls.

On a bright note the intervals seemed easy like they should have as did what little I rode outside so I think I am getting back on the right track finally.


JimmyNick said...

Sounds similar to my story from Monday night, eh?
In my book, you manned up just by getting out there. Your 45-minute ride itself was longer than someone's commute to work, probably, and then you rode the mechanical monster for :45 longer than anyone should have to bear.
Give yourself a little love, not excoriation!

Ray Huang said...

Thanks Jim!! I rode 3 hours this morning. Very biting cold, but sunny. It was a bit long because I am so tired right now and trying to dry all my clothes for the commute home. Another mile this morning and I would have been crawling on hands and knees to the door of my warehouse.