Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Kona, Day 1

The Suit

I had to pick up my speed suit today. When I ordered it, Xterra promised to have it delivered by September 30th. Then they said "oops, we haven't actually made the suits yet so you'll just have to pick it up in Kona." I freaked out about it at the time, but then I had so many troubles with my bike pedals that the suit issue paled in comparison.

Xterra is a major player in the triathlon world with a big presence at Ironman. So you'd think I'd be able to go to their tent in the Ironman Village and pick up my suit. No. Instead, they gave me the address of a house about 6 miles out of town. I was told to turn off the main road and go down a long driveway where I was supposed to meet "some guy". Between 6:30 and 9:30 am. And if he wasn't there, not to worry, his dad would be there. It felt like I was trying to score some drugs.

Surprisingly, my throat was not slit in a dark alley behind the house. I got the suit, and it seems to fit better than I expected. I gave it a quick try today and will take it out for a longer swim tomorrow.

The Phone

My big stress for the day was that I broke the charging cable for my phone. There are plenty of stores around town, but I don't have a car or my bike yet. Our travel company has 110 guests to attend with so they're not real flexible with the kind of shuttle service they can give. There is a shopping plaza about a quarter mile from the condo where they had chargers for iPods (not compatible with iPhone), cell phone chargers (not for iPhone) and USB chargers (USB cable not included.)

I was able to catch a shuttle into the heart of town, knowing that there was a K-Mart nearby. Unfortunately, I didn't have a good sense of the distance. It was about a 1.5 mile walk to K-Mart. Uphill, in the afternoon heat, wearing Crocs, when I'm supposed to be relaxing. At least I did find a charger. And then another 1.5 mile walk (downhill).

The Bike

After that, I was able to pick up my bike from Tri Bike Transport. I was going to just ride the 7 miles back to the condo, but after a few miles I realized the chain was rattling a little bit against the derailleur whenever I was in the highest gear. I turned around and brought it back to Tri Bike Transport for an adjustment.

I explained the situation to the lady at the table, who then called over one of their tech guys. He put the bike up on the rack and then asked me - you're not going to believe this - how to shift into the highest gear. That made me nervous. Then he called over another guy. Good. He spun the wheels a bit and said "It's only rubbing a little bit... Are you sure you're going to be using this gear?"

Excuse me?

I don't plan on hammering it all day long, but yes, I thought it would be nice to have all my gears working properly. I let him tweak it a little bit, said "thank you very much" and then rode over to a real bike shop, Bike Works. I basically told them what happened and said "I don't trust whatever adjustments they may or may not have done to my bike." The Bike Works guys are awesome and had me in and out in 5 minutes with a fully-functional bike.

In the interest of full-disclosure: when I was leaving Tri Bike Transport, their tech guy told me that if I had any more problems, to take it to a mechanic at the expo and they would reimburse me. They wanted to make sure I was satisfied. So I think important to note that they knew their limitations and were still making an effort to make sure I was taken care of.


Blogger Kevin said...

Good luck at Kona.


12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck Wedgie!


5:24 PM  
Blogger Brent Buckner said...

Best wishes for a great day out on the course!

6:32 AM  

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