Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mud Snot and No Gears

I had somewhat jokingly thought to myself the other night, that I should change my Ridley into a SS and do a double race, since this one was just going to be for practice. Well I didn't, but I ended up racing with a SS in the end.....

September went out as one heck of a wet month. I believe it set a record for rainfall for the month, if not, Friday and Sunday certainly set records for the day, but I'll leave the weather for the Snow Curmudgeon. Either way, it resulted in the Barlow HS course being a muddy sloppy mess of a course. I mean ridiculously muddy. With plenty of running to be done. Overall though, I think it was the same course as last year, more or less.

I lined up with the young fast guys to try to gage where I am in that catagory since this was an independent race with no real bearing on the season. I was pretty much in the last row at the start and managed to move up a bit to the back of the second group on the course, which was most of the field. Early in the race (after the Finish line barrier)I was running on an off camber spot and slipped, and went down with the bike, dumping the right side into mud (foreshadow). I regathered myself and for the next lap or so I picked up the momentum and started moving through some riders, starting to feel good, by the third lap though things started to change.

My right shifter no longer wanted to shift into a smaller cog. And ended up stuck on the second to largest. With my front derailleur this left me with 2 gears. The frustration of it seemed to just take me out of the race. Then to make things worse I had problems shifting to the large ring up front, leaving me stuck in the granny gear and just spinning out for a couple laps. Pretty frustrating. Then I just started falling. I think on the second to last lap I fell three times! If there was anymore than one lap to go when I came through I would have dropped out. But I continued to slog along and try to ride some sections I was having problems on, not very successfully either. In the end I was 30th out of 41. I'd like to imagine I lost 10 spots with my mechanicals and could have broke the top 20. Hey it's my blog and I can imagine all I want.

Well let's hope I used up some of my mechanicals for the year on that race. I was by no means the only one.

Anyone know the best way to clean out a Dura Ace 9-speed shifter?

Next Week: Alpenrose and the first Cross Crusade series race.