Tuesday, September 18, 2012

If It Ain’t One Thing…

It’s another.

And another.

My string of bad luck continues, but at least I wasn’t in a race this time.  After driving all the way down to Augusta, GA for the FATS trip on Saturday, I thought it would be a good day.  About thirty minutes into the first loop though, it turned to shit.  I told you yesterday that I had to stop to tighten my left crank arm, and everything seemed fine.  After a little more riding though, I noticed that  it came loose again.  I busted out my trusty tool to tighten it again, and just as I was gently getting the bolt snug, I heard a crack.


I broke the head off the bolt, and I was pretty much screwed at that point.  There was no way the crank arm would stay on after that.

Rather than walk out though, I decided that I would put it back on there, and try my best to keep it on there by pressing my foot against the bottom bracket when I rode downhill.  I wouldn’t be able to climb very well, but at least I wouldn’t have to walk out.  It worked okay at first, but Tom and Lunchbox had to stop every so often to let me catch up.  At one point I told then to keep going and wait for me at the end of the loop.  They took off while I limped my bike along the trail. 

I walked my bike up the climbs for the most part, but I stayed on for the downhills.  My luck didn’t last forever though, because at one point my crank arm fell of while I was navigating a rooty and twisty descent.  My right crank arm immediately dropped downward, and my pedal struck a root.  It sent me over the bars, and I landed on my (already hurt a few days ago) elbow.  As I writhed on the ground for a bit in pain, I thought about how dumb that shit was.  I got back on my bike and I eventually made it out of there.

My next challenge would be to get my bike fixed.

Since we drove all the way down there and the ride had just started, I wanted to get back out there to get some miles in.  I took off for a local shop, leaving Lunchbox and Tom to ride without me.  I didn’t see the need for them to give up their ride time for me, and I figured I’d be back soon anyway.  I took off with my broken bike, heading to the closest shop.

On the way, I gave Mr. Shepherd a call.  The the last time he was here we went through the same shit. 

I didn’t wait for him to answer the phone before I started talking.

Me:  “Fuck you Lance, answer!”

Mr. Shepherd:  “Hello?”

Me:  “Lance, it’s me Vincent.  I’m in big fucking trouble, man.  I’m coming to your house.”

Mr. Shepherd:  “Whoa. Whoa.  Hold your horses, man.  What’s the problem?”

Me:  “I’ve got this chick, she’s fuckin’ O.D.in’ on me.”

Mr. Shepherd:  “Well, don’t bring her here!  I’m not even fuckin’ joking with you, man!  Do not be bringing some fucked-up pooh-bah to my house.”

Me. “No choice.”

Mr. Shepherd:  “She’s O.D.in’?”

Me.  “She’s fuckin’ dying on me, man!”

Mr. Shepherd:  “Okay, then you bite the bullet, take her to a hospital and call a lawyer.”

Me:  “Negative.”

Mr. Shepherd:  “This is not my fuckin’ problem, man!  You fucked her up, you deal with this!”

Okay, that was obviously a Pulp Fiction reference and not what really happened.  I just called to give him shit about passing on his bad juju to me from our last trip.  He did help me remember the name of the bike shop we went to when he was here, and I made it there with no issues.  Long story short, they got me back on the bike pronto, and I hauled ass back to the trail to see if I could finish my ride.

I got back to the parking lot just as the boys were finishing up their ride.  Lunchbox was worn out (and even had a small bout with leg cramps), but Tom volunteered to go out there again with me.  I had to get in some more riding, and I was glad to have the company.  We hit the trail at a breakneck pace, determined to finish up before the ladies did.  We succeeded, which meant that I didn’t waste my time driving down there.

We had fun (despite another mechanical issue), and I’m very thankful I got back on the trail.  I’ll talk about my bike shop experience soon.  In the meantime, I have some work to do.  I ran my GoPro out there again, so I have to see if any of the video is worth editing.

Even if it isn’t, I’ll probably still put something together for the blog.

Good or bad, you’ll have to watch it.

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