Sunday, October 03, 2010

Call Me Ishmael

What has been my most stressful thing to deal with for the past few days? Not packing. Not those last few workouts. I've been freaking out about my bike horn.

When I first started doing triathlons, I bought a bicycle and a killer whale squeaky horn. That whale has been with me from the very beginning. He was later joined (thanks to IronmAnnie) by his giant inflatable cousin at Oceanside 70.3 and in Coeur d'Alene. The whale appears on my blog, on t-shirts, and even my Ironman tattoo. The whale and I have been through a lot together. He can't squeak as loudly as he used to, but he's still a trooper.

I take him off the bike whenever I have to get a tune-up, and after the last one I somehow misplaced him. I didn't really worry about it, because I figured he would just turn up eventually. Well now it was 2 days before I was leaving for Hawaii and he was still lost. I really wanted to have that specific whale with me for the race, but the more important thing is that I could NOT do Kona without a killer whale squeaky horn. I decided I should go out and get a new one, knowing that my old horn would understand.

Turns out, they are not easy to find. I spent the weekend driving everywhere looking for a killer whale squeaky horn: Bicycle John's. Sport Chalet. Montrose Cyclery. Helen's. Target. I was getting worried that I would have to find one online and have it FedExed to my hotel or something. Finally, I went to Incycle in Pasadena and saw the whale. At first I was very excited/relieved, but then when I looked closer at it I saw that it was all banged up and scraped. This whale would have to be a back-up, but I would still try a few more places to find one in good condition. If I have to replace my whale, I might as well get a really nice, shiny new one, right?

But then I started thinking about it a little more. When compared with most of the other competitors in Kona, I am not in "great shape." So why does my killer whale squeaky horn have to be in great shape? Is his squeak any less enthusiastic? Will he enjoy the race any less simply because his cardboard cage took off some of his black skin? Maybe we are kindred spirits going into this race.

So I have a new killer whale squeaky horn for my bike. At some point, I am sure I will find my old one and I think they will be friends.


Blogger Brent Buckner said...

Good to have a mascot!

8:23 AM  

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