Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Double Teamed

It's been a while since I've done a Tuesday-morning ride. I was on vacation, I was sick, I was just too darn lazy. But I finally made it out again this morning. The usual suspects were there: Steve, Greg, Brian... but Jon showed up with someone else in the car. How odd. Could this be some newbie who just joined the (traitorous) Warner Bros. Tri Team and Jon is teaching him to ride a bike?


We knew we were in trouble when the New Guy stepped out of the car and we were blinded by the reflection of the morning sun off of his freshly shaved legs. Turns out, "Tom" was in town to compete in some National Bike Riding Championships in Irvine. Then next weekend he's competing in Chicago at the Crit Nationals. He is staying with Jon for the week and was hoping to get a few good rides in.

We were screwed.

Typically on our Tuesday rides, we either do "the bike path" or "the hill". Jon, wanting to be a good host, decided we would do both. Swell. We didn't do intervals or time-trials along the path, but it was definitely much faster than a warm-up ride. I was already tired when we started the hill climb.

I consider myself a fair climber. I don't make it to the top first, but Jon usually doesn't have to wait for me for too long. But I struggled today. One of the big problems was my gears kept slipping on me and my chain even popped off (foreshadowing). When you lose momentum going up a hill, it kills you and it was happening a lot.

The normal hill course is one big climb to the top, then we drop down the back of the hill and then climb back up about halfway, then back down to the cars. I hate doing the second hill, and I usually tell Jon "I'm going to skip the second hill and just head back to the car". But then he yells at me or gives me an Ironman guilt trip and I tag along. It's just the dance we do. As I got close to the top, I thought that this time I REALLY didn't want to do the second hill. How could I possibly get out of it? Well, I took a deep breath, pressed down on the pedals with my massive quads and SNAP! - my chain snapped in two. OK, so maybe it wasn't intentional but it did get me out of the rest of the ride.

"Fortunately" I was near the top of the hill and it was pretty much several miles of downhill coasting to get back to my car. There were two short flat spots where I had to push off with my feet for a while but it wasn't too bad. I will say that it a very odd feeling riding on a bike with no chain because there is absolutely no tension on the pedals at all and it just seems weird.

I now have a new chain and a new rear cassette on my bike and championship rider Tom is leaving town soon. I expect next Tuesday's ride to be much more pleasant.


Blogger Iradoman said...

That's very strange the same thing happened with Jon a while back when I was riding with him. His chain snap right at the top of trash hill. Maybe he was afraid of climbing to the top with me.... I wish...

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


if you think last week was hard, well, lets see what you think about tomorrow?

congrats with good race at Arrowhead.

10:21 PM  

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