Wednesday, May 4

Non-human vestigiality

In the good news column as I head into PMBAR weekend, most of my self-inflicted injuries are getting better.  My stomach no longer hurts from the time I tried to access my spleen with the end of my handlebar.  The bruise is gone on my left quad.  Even my left shoulder, which has been giving me problems since last September, is feeling much better after a few weeks of having the messenger bag off it at work.

My thumb tho...

Hyper-extended digits are truly a pain in the ass.  They seem to take forever to heal, and I imagine it's because it's difficult to get through a day without using them, especially the thumb.  Putting on socks, washing out a heavy pan, cleaning my glasses, working on my bike... just about any activity can be an unpleasant reminder that I'm still not healed up yet.   Even the act of holding down the hem of my underwear to take a leak has to be done carefully.  I realize that had I been raised in Gastonia, I'd just be dropping full trou to the floor, but sometime around age two, I was told not to do that.

I've been really careful on my last few mountain bike rides.  I do as much riding as I can with my thumb draped over the bars.  It works most of the time, but when things get hairy?  No bueno.

Last week, I remembered a product that at one point on FaceBook, I referred to it as the "vestigial tail of the long forgotten bar ends."

I don't like a cluttered cockpit on my single speed.  It's bad enough I have a drooper lever (necessity) and a bell (luxurious necessity).  I decided last Friday to throw my vanity to the side and order a set of graphite Zytel Togs, hoping the subdued look would blend in nicely.  I paid extra for two day shipping just so they would certainly be here in time for PMBAR.

I spent the entirety of this past weekend and all of Monday staring at this, refreshing it regularly.

They weren't moving.  Of course, I was concerned.  Also, not so much, because USPS tracking is TRBL.  When I got home Monday night, nothing.

But then as The Pie and I headed out for a walk, she mentioned that she had checked the mail earlier, and it hadn't came the last time she looked.  She returned back down the driveway as I was putting on my shoes with a package in her hand.

Of course, I went on our walk first (family first and everything), but immediately upon our return, I tore into the package.  Inside, I found a note.

They don't know me from Adam, but the bump up to crabon Togs is @ $12, so thanks for that.  It goes nicely with my other crabon bits.

The crabon models are hinged, so no grip removal was necessary.  My only issue was with spacing on the bars involving my brake lever and bell.  Another shim under the shim for the bell bracket and everything was good to go.

Titan Tank full of Little Debbie Fudge Brownies and Stem Boner™ for the purpose of stability installed for PMBAR.

So much crabon...

This was honestly the biggest pain in the ass.  The bell did not want to play nice, and I wasn't willing to move my lever to make it all work.  I spent more time hunting in my tool box for shimming material than I did with mounting it tho.

So what was all that about not doing anything you're not used to right before a big event?

I rode them around a bit out in front of the house.  I'm surprised by just how much I can hold onto the bars in this position, but in a manner that doesn't pull on my thumb in the bad way.   Will I be able to hold fast going all the way down Black Mountain after nine hours in the saddle on Saturday?    Dunno, but I'm sure I'll find out one way or the other.


Chris said...


steven said...

looks like another impaling device.

bloodpuddle said...

"Hyper-extended digits are truly a pain in the ass."

Suggest just getting gloves if your hands are cold.