Tuesday, May 7

Yoga Breathing

Cold, wet, covered in mud, shivering...

I've been here before.  Actually just a week ago.  Many times before that as well.  Too many.

I chant a mantra to myself in these situations.  It calms me down and prepares me for what I'm about to do.

"It will get worse before it gets better."

Breathe in, breathe out.

What I want is to be magically clean, dry, standing by a fire or in front of a heater, wearing a puffy coat, sipping on coffee.  That's not reality.

So I drop everything, head to the nearest body of water, and get down to business.

photo cred: Eric Wever

I rinsed off in the creek as best as possible and went back to my beer.  Then I sat on the back of Eric's Cherokee, got buck-ass naked and sat there shivering, convulsing and laughing.

A bit like last week.  Same condition, different location, same mud stained crotchal region.

"Cleaned up," beer, the rain started coming down hard, prize table, forget to grab my burrito (fuck), an after party calling our names, scrambling to come up with some kind of plan, logistics and bike racks in the downpour, beers, bail on sleeping on the back porch of The Pisgah Tavern, back to the Salman residence for a decent night's sleep.

By the time I got home Sunday, my family unit was already moving.  They were out the door with plans for the day.  As much as I missed them, at least I had the opportunity to clean all the mud out of my clothes and attend to my bike before the bearings started to seize and brake issues might be forgotten.

I grabbed a beer, and shuffled into the bike room.  It was after noon, so don't judge me.


Droop.  Loads of it.  A certain amount of wear and tear on that chain.  So happy it is just an $8 PC-1.

Rear brake... maybe a little more descending left in it.  Not much though.

Front brake?  Nada.  I knew that.  I'd been pointlessly squeezing it for many miles.  Meh.  Also notice my broken number plate holder.  Sad.  Forty minutes in and I dropped my bike on a hike-a-bike section.  Snap.

A dive into the reflector bracket bin at Bike Source is in order.

So are the pads worn out?

Rear pads worn down to the spring.  Front pads?  A new mystery to solve.  One pad down to the metal and then some, the other a right bit chunky.  What gives?

Sticky piston.  Shit.  I probably shoulda gave this a look over... I dunno, maybe last September after a very wet and gritty 57 miles of the Shenandoah 100?  This same thing happened in Breck after the big five hour rain day, but to a less detrimental degree.  Easy to fix though, so that's done.

With so much free time on my hands, I went ahead and pulled the seals of the front wheel bearings and the rear non-drive side.  Blew them out with an air compressor and repacked them with ProGold EPX Cycle Grease.  Not one to get tooooo product pimpy, but altogether I used six ProGold products before I was done addressing all my bikes issues.  Cleaned my bike with Bike Wash, soaked the rotten but still alive chain in Degreaser + Wash, removed the stubborn residue with Pro Towels, blew all the gunk out of my freehub with Blast Off, and relubed the chain with ProLink (although I used Xtreme for PMBAR).

Supposedly the wettest day on record in the area by .05".

Since I've crossed that line already today...

Definitely a race where I have to appreciate the support I receive from sponsors. 

Twin Six Metal wind vest.  Two weeks in a row.  Lifesaver.  I hate racing in a jacket.  Wind vests are tits.

Maxxis tires, I love that Ardent 2.4.  Maybe overkill with front suspension, but damn if it don't hook up in the sloppy shit.

Bike Source.  Burning up pads at the rate of two sets a week gets expensive.  Thanks for keeping my favorite brand in stock and supporting the Faster Mustache race team.

Industry Nine.  No failures, no worries, bearings repacked and freehub cleaned in under twenty minutes.

Endless Bikes.  Eleven hours and then some of grit and the cog still looks great.  I have destroyed other cogs in less time in similar conditions.  I wondered how it was gonna wear.  Now I know.

Swiftwick.  So glad I pulled out the wool socks. I wanted to put on my sweet ProGold Swiftwicks, but they aren't wool.  Although I was shivering for a good portion of the final leg of the race, my feet weren't cold.   Soaked but not cold.

Backcountry Research.  Without the innovative products they pump out of their facility, pack-less PMBAR would not work.  I love that I can ride a self-supported race for almost 12 hours and not have a sweaty, heavy pack tearing into my shoulders all day.  12 hours, over Pisgah's rough terrain, in the rain... all our gear secure for the duration.

Enough mutual masturbation... even if it is National Masturbation Month.  It's just nice to know that some folks have my back.  I love what I do, I love those that love what I do, and I love expressing my feels every once in awhile.


John Parker said...

great list of props (the feel good moment of my day)

gear question...what were your gloves of choice?

dicky said...

The replacements Giro sent me... which have been falling apart as well.