A friend of mine, Jason Grantz, has been focusing on the definition of words for the past couple weeks. I’m going to utilize this idea and sum up how I feel the day after 6 Hours of Warrior Creek.
1 having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order : a broken arm.
• rejected, defeated, or despairing : he went to his grave a broken man | a broken heart.
• sick or weakened : broken health.
• (of a relationship) ended, typically by betrayal or faithlessness : a broken marriage.
• disrupted or divided : broken families.
• (of an agreement or promise) not observed by one of the parties involved.
2 having gaps or intervals that break a continuity : a broken white line across the road.
• spoken haltingly, as if overcome by emotion : he whispered in a broken voice.
The trail was amazing, the berms were buff, the climbs had traction and even the first lap wasn’t too muddy.The temperature ended up being around 70º in Wilkesboro, NC.
The pit crew, as always, was extraordinary. Kimberlee and Shelley were always there for food, smiles and a good kick in the butt.
Our pit mates, the guys from Luna Cycles, Dale and Robbie, and of course Darby.
The weather was perfect, a bit chilly in the morning ending up around 75 in the afternoon.
The other racers, encouraging, helpful, inspiring.
My teammate, Melissa. Always smiling and optimistic. Even when my last lap took twice as long as it should and we ended in last place.
The sweet lady next to our pits that recognized me as Bike Shop Girl and even stopped as I was suffering after the race to say she enjoyed my writing.
A flat tire at mile 5 on my second lap.
Losing tons of electrolytes and only having water on my back.
Walking a ton on that second lap.
The feeling of competitors passing you and not being able to do a damn thing about it.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, wtf happened?
Somewhere between the start of lap one, and the middle of lap two my bottom bracket started to seize up. Hills that I was able to spin up in a middle gear on my cassette I was grinding up in my easiest cog. My multi-tool didn’t have a 2.5mm allen wrench on it to back out the adjustable ring on the SRAM X-9 cranks.
The feeling when you realize why you are sucking is between happiness and a stupid sick gut wrenching. Especially when you realize you can’t fix the thing. I knew I had 5 miles more to go, and most of it was up hill. It got to a point that I was simply hoping that I would get through before 5pm for my lap to count.
For the rest of the lap I pushed, grinded, walked, tried to smile and hoped the miles would tick by. My knees ached from trying to climb the hills with my cranks not spinning freely, my stomach hurt and at times I hit hyperventilation in frustration and pain.
A couple days later I feel better. My knees still hurt, and my brain is rather screwed up from the event. Who knows if I could have done something differently. Maybe check over my bike better between laps. Maybe tell PF30 bottom brackets to kiss my ass.
I feel badly for letting down my team. I feel badly about many things. At the end of the day it is only a race, but to look forward to something for a complete year and it to end this way is a horrible feeling.
This next week is going to be epic for me and I wanted to give you guys a quick look into what Adventure by Bike can look for the everyday, crammed life, person.
Foundry Cycles launch parties, Outspokin Bicycles Woodstock, GA – Monday Feb 27th. Bicycle Sport Charlotte, NC – Thursday March 1st. Liberty Bicycles Asheville, NC – Friday March 2nd. (more to come).
Friday & Saturday – Southern X in Georgia sponsorship.
Sunday Southeast Bike Expo
Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday – Shop visits with Lazer Sport extraodinare Rebecca Karbon all over the Atlanta Georgia area.
To make this next week even more epic there is road trips in the Jetta, and of course mountain biking will be required to keep me sane.
10am leave my humble abode. Kiss my significant other good bye for a week, drive 3.5 hours to middle of no-where Georgia to drop off helmet samples.
1:38pm after successfully dropping off helmets in the middle of a gas station parking lot, pull out the laptop, charge on the Sprint mobile hotspot device and quickly find a mountain bike trail 20 mins away, the proper direction to where I am headed for the night!
2:15pm kitted up in spandex I hit the trail. Quickly winded since I haven’t been on the bike too often recently. I am left smiling and thanking people kindly as they pass me. Twice I passed some lads. It felt good, and then I wanted to hurl due to the effort of “chicking them”.
5:15pm Strap my bike to my roof, and add my soaking wet shoes in hopes they will air out. That’s what you get for skipping around a creek in hopes to get a good photo!
5:45pm I am holed up in a Starbucks in Dahlonega GA. Free internet and good green tea!
For the past couple months I have been riding the 2011 Salsa Casseroll on the road, on side streets, commuting, off the beaten path and really it has been the bike strapped to the roof of my car while traveling all over NC, SC and TN. I will be sad when I have to send this bike back as it truly is the Cadillac of road bikes (minus the drivetrain.) You can read the preview over yonder before you dive into my full review.
Next week Tech Tuesday we will touch on fat tire bikes and why they are awesome. For now imagine your mountain bike tire to be 4″ wide. Yes 4″. They’ve been around for several years. The Surly Pugsley in purple was my first experience with fat bikes, this was in 2005. It was single speed, I was in North Carolina. It was awesome for bombing through woods, making my own line on the trail and really not giving a crap what I ran into. Think monster truck with a bike. (You do need forward momentum for it to work!)
For those that live in North Carolina or on the West Coast won’t get this. What are fat bikes and why does this matter? The answer for the first question comes Tuesday. The answer for the second question is simple.
Because they can.
Monster truck with front and rear suspension to make your own path, hit the sand, hit the snow and be fine when you hit those logs or rocks in the way.
From Salsa’s blog:
The inspiration for this project came from numerous people within our team (in a strangely timely convergence actually) and from the fact that fatbikes are being ridden all year long as opposed to being strictly thought of as snow or winter bikes….
These are prototypes. We expect to learn a lot from them. They may or may not eventually become an actual product. That is undecided at this time.
Getting lost on a road with two full water bottles and the knowledge of a well packed bag sitting behind you is bliss.
The Casseroll is our relaxed road bike, perfect for long road rides, credit card touring, and randonneuring events.
Intended Use: Randoneur, Commuting, Century Rides, Credit Card Touring
Key Specs: Steel frameset, Shimano Tiagra 9 Speed, Tektro cantilevers, Salsa Delgado Cross rims, painted to match Salsa front rack
To say the least, I was elated when the words came through this past September that Salsa would be sending an updated Salsa Casseroll for review.
For the past three years I’ve been commuting, morphing and loving my original Salsa Casseroll purchased as an all around steel bike. (Purchased with my hard earned cash, not given to review.) There were things I wish were different, like the strange semi-compact geometry which was fun to ride as a road bike but not as upright as I would like for long distance or commuting. Or that the long pull brakes didn’t allow me to run fat 38c tires with fenders.
As I have been beating around, commuting, tooling around Charlotte, taking along the back roads, finding hard packed gravel roads and learning what this bike yearns for – I am pleasantly surprised. Never did I think there would be so much change between the two bikes. The characteristics are still the same, but the handling, geometry and capabilities have grown. Personally, I added a rear rack to compliment and allow for panniers or a rear trunk bag. The front rack that comes stock is beautiful, but I’m still left wondering what type of bag to put on it. Normally I am left strapping a stuff sack with a bungee cord.
This bike was provided to me for no charge from Salsa Cycles. I’m reviewing this completely unbiased and my relationship with Salsa Cycles as a rep will not taint any views or opinions I have of the bike or how I share them with you. Swear.
It has been in the works for four months. Countless phone calls, questioning, heckling and hounding. This is the bike industry right?
Before my El Mariachi was even an idea, my friend Shelley was looking for a 29er. We went through all the various options and her needs. As I’m still biased to many of Salsa’s products, and the Mamasita was a big hit, we kept eye out for a size small Mamasita or El Mariachi for her. After a month or so, the 2011 Salsa El Mariachi frames became available through the distributor and she ordered one up. Over several email correspondents we sourced all the parts from various websites and bike shops.
This past Thursday and Saturday I spent time helping her build up her new bike, mainly for the karma and that she wanted my special touch on her bike. Oh yes, and I have all the fancy Park Tools to do so.
The build was very painless, other than the lack of compressor and attempted tubeless conversion. Don’t worry, a compressor is now on my Birthday/Christmas list! And having to install/bleed the Dicky-tastic Jagwire white hose. The Cane Creek headset and Straitline brake levers, with additional white hose, look super fancy on the Mariachi that has no name. Matchy, but not too matchy to be confused with a racer.
The owner finished up some minor details on the bike build, forgetting the bar end/gut plugs. Shame, shame on them! Come on people, bar end plugs save lives!! Overall, I believe the she is very happy with her new 29er and hopefully had a positive bike building experience.
Her bike and all its beautiful bits, made me jealous and that is were the El Mariachi for myself came into play. Now, Industry Nine – where are my wheels?!?!
Built with passion and love, please don't steal anything