Thursday, March 13, 2008

Training Week 5: 03/09/2008 Cycling outdoors!

Note: Check out my donors web site NOW, and you'll see that even Bullwinkle has donated to support my ride. like the MOOSE does. Please stop by and donate to eliminate blood cancers today!

Well, it rained like a %&*^$# Saturday, again. But we were able to get out on Sunday! And man was this a special day. We had seven riders from the MA team along with us, including three of our mentors. Big Ben came out to see us, and the very lovely Katie Brown, our LLS team representative, was along to drive SAG for us. None of us wound up needing a motor-lift, but it was special to have her come along!

We cycled for what my bike computer logged as 23.4 miles from Boxboro, through Littleton, and then up the big hill to Harvard.

Chugging up the hill to Harvard Center, MA. I was sure beat trying to get up that thing; happens every year. But this time I was even one of the first to get up there, although I was pretty winded when I arrived!

We mostly had a great time. Everything would have been perfect if I'd been aware of a small, but serious mechanical problem. When we headed down the BIG hill on Rt 111 going back into Boxboro after a good ass-kicking ride, I thought I'd coast to my max speed and see how well the new frame on my bike would handle the higher pressure. Well, that didn't go well at all. Could have been a lot worse, but as I reached 39mph, I got the worst kind of shimmy in the bike I'd ever felt. Reminded me of a tooth-breaking fall I'd had as a nine-year-old--but that was 38 years ago, in the street gravel. This was a lot different, and the stakes were higher. I fought that thing wiggling and twitching all the way down the hill! Hollering at myself not to die out there, I finally got the beast to stop wrestling with me as I approached the bottom.

Turns out, and I hate to admit this, I had a loose head assembly, which I could have detected before I started, but what I was doing during my check-out didn't reveal the problem. Well I feel silly, but I know better now how to check for that problem. I just hold the bar down with the front brake on and push forward. If the fork seems to move or slip, time to tighten!!!

Well, I'm still here, I'm not dead, and I'm training for Tahoe.

Where to go after the ride? You bet!!! Check out Di Capri's in Acton, MA next time you're in town!!! Here am I, Coach Mike, Anna, and Krazy Keith.
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See the rest of the photos from this training ride at my Picasa site.

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