Monday, January 6


October 26th, 2013... it stuck with me.

The Wilkes 100K.

On a rigid single speed 650b.

Some of the worst pain I've ever had while riding (that didn't involve me crashing).  The knots on my back have knots.  I thought they would go away if I ignored them.  That technique works most of the time.  This time?  Not so much.

The past two weeks of trail work and a certain couple of rides I've done lately brought me to the point where I finally gave into The Pie RN's advice.  I would get a massage.

I believe in the power of massage.  I just don't like when the answer to a problem involves money.  She has a "relationship" with a local massage therapist, so I agreed to go see her.

Their specialties?

Prenatal Massage?  Not needed.

Postpartum Massage?  I think I could do without it.

Fertility Massage?   I doubt "increase in circulation to reproductive organs" is as good as it sounds.

Neuromuscular Massage Therapy?  The "elimination of sports and/ or training muscle injuries."

That's me.

Without getting too into the the benefits and drawbacks of the latest wheel size, current industry trends, my desire to try something new and my stupidity to do so in a five hour race, I let the massage therapist know that my pain originated with a long race on a new set-up/position.

She started with the right side of my neck.  My "good side."  I saw white and then couldn't breathe.

"How long have you been like this?"

"Since November."

"How are you able to turn your head?"

She moved to other parts of my body.  I think at one point, she removed my left scapula, placed it on the floor, massaged my lung, and then put me all back together... but in the way that a pile of clean laundry is "put together" in a basket.  Loose and fluffy, but a bit disorganized.

After an hour and many breathless moments of seeing stars, I was released into the wild.

Drink water, apply ice, take it easy for a couple days.

So the rest of my weekend was spent tooling about the house, an easy ride out of the front door looking at prospective venues for the Tour duh Charlotte, and a Faster Mustache team meeting.

And I did actually accomplish something... I purged all the air outta my brakes.

I did it despite being warned that squeezing the brake lever while doing a Shimano XTR bleed is only slightly less dangerous than crossing streams.

I stuck the bleed cup in the reservoir, put some mineral oil in there, and started pulling gently on the lever...

Tiny bubbles.  One, then two, then three... I was excite.  I pumped until no more came out and watched the level of the oil drop.

And when I put everything back together?  It worked.

The air had been in the line ever since I cut them in accordance with Shimano's instructions.  They were fine as long as the bike was upright, but flip the bike over (or hang it on the wall) and the air headed straight to the caliper.  Then the brakes had to be pumped to get them working again... I knew it was an issue of air in the line, but like most problems (back pain, for example) ignoring them eventually becomes something I can't do any longer.

So here's to facing problems head-on in 2014... well, for at least the first week anyways.


Anonymous said...

Really?! Blaming all your woes on a wheel size? Really?!

dicky said...

Not wheel size... but yes. I've been riding rigid 29'ers for years now. Never had an experience like it. You can ask around, Wilkesboro trails are relatively buff. Position on the bike was no different than any of my other bikes...

So wheel size is the only variable. It DID NOT ROLL OVER THE ROUGH STUFF AS HANDILY AS A 29'er.

So, yes. I said that.


Anonymous said...

What I learned today:

Rigid is the true test of differences between sizes.

"when I put it all back together? It worked!" is similar to "I pumped until no more came out..."


Anonymous said...

How exactly did you bleed them? Did you use a syringe on the caliper, or just the cup on the reservoir? And, is that cup from a bleed kit or homemade? Need to do my brakes.

dicky said...

I've only done one bleed, and that was with the Shimano syringe.

The cup and plunger are also Shimano tools. Made life easy.

I was only getting rid of air in the line and practicing for when I shorten (and purge the air) when I get my Vertigo rolling.

BUCK said...

Did you reschedule before you left the massage therapist's office?

You should have. And I hope you kept you "happy ending jokes to yourself"