Wednesday, January 25

Winter Shart Tarck '23: Race One (The Pre and also Post-Dumblings)

Whilst I wasted a week's worth of mental energy trying to figure out what to wear to the prom, I did little to nothing to prepare my bike, outside of putting two front fenders on it.  My pads were worn, but were they too worn?  Would my tire selection based on what I saw on two trail work days and one pre-ride really make sense?

Researching back in time, I looked at what I wore at the cold, wet Shart Tarck an Anne Springs two years ago.  I spent too much time looking at my gloves and such to notice my front tire selection:

Huh.  Forekaster.  Musta been muddy.  I did actually "notice" the tire in the picture... I just couldn't imagine after spreading crush 'n run all over (most of) the course, we'd see anything like we did this weekend.  Not helping things at all, I used the Aspen 2.4 that I've been running here and there since 2021 as a rear tire.  Did I have a less worn, used 2.4 Aspen?  Yeth.  Do I have two new Aspen 2.4 under my bench?  Yeth.  Did I squirrel away a bunch of Forekasters before Maxxis beefed them up into an Enduro™ tire?  Of course, also yeth.  Count me among those that were sad to see the OG Forekaster go away.  Sometimes you want a big knobbed tire with wide spacing.  Sometimes meaning this past Sunday.

The Pace on the rear was equally stupid and will be more thoughtfully considered next week.

You think I woulda moved past the "use some tire I won at a bike race on the back sometimes" phase of my life.  Apparently a tire described as "small, tightly spaced knobs to create a tire with low rolling resistance" is not optimal in these conditions:

Dr Mike's cog at the finish... I ain't never seen that flavor of mud before.

The brakes.

Had we raced two hours earlier, I woulda been fine,  Just fine.

But I didn't.

I knew the pads were used, some, a bit, for awhile?  It's not like I had plenty of spares stocked up (thanks, TruckerCo).

And I've even kept mementos here and there to remind me to not be so cheap.

Pads worn down the backing material coming down Volcan Irazu in Costa Rica in 2004.

Remainder of a pad that I wore deep into the backing material that I now keep as a jingly bit on my work bag and yet another reminder to NOT BE FRUGLE when it comes to my safety.

That was plain stupid.  Like post-race in the parking lot lever to the bar... and gradually slowing down stupid.

Trust me.  The pads were replaced Sunday evening after the race, and tires will be scrutinized the day before race number two.  To make matters even more trbl, I had all my tire mounting stuff out and the compressor making all the noises Friday night putting Ramblers on my garvel machine... so another fifteen minutes and a couple more drops of Cream II sealant on the floor to clean up, and I woulda been golden.

If I did anything smart on Sunday, it was wearing my old shitty Specialized knee warmers.

They used to make the best fleecy knee tubes.  Then they changed the design, and they sucked just a little. They redesigned them again and started using a fabric as fragile as crepe paper.  They fooled me once.  I bought them twice.  They already had holes in them before this past Sunday.  Now they are destined to be shit-canned.

Back to my incompetence.

I considered breaking this out:

That dumb trainer that I bought for The Pie almost ten(?) years ago so she could keep up her fitness while getting over an overuse injury hasn't seen a whole lotta action since.  I rode it twice, and I let Nick borrow it for this past cyclocross season.  It would be ideal to set it up under The Spoke Easy tent with the tarck bike, but when I considered all the effort required to lug everything over there from the car just so I could properly warm up for a sub-podium finish?  Meh.  Laziness won.

And as I was walking away at the end of my day, I heard the whir-whir-whir as I passed by some experts warming up all comfortable and dry under a tent and thought, "dammit."


Had I decided to race 50+, I coulda placed at least 4th, mebbe better, as I had to pass sixteen 50+'ers that had a one minute head start.  That's a lot of traffic.  Oh, the dilemma of being a quinquagenarian single speeder.  Race age-wise, I'm tied for second oldest SS'er in the bunch.  Twenty years of Shart Tarcking... and back when I started, I was as old as SS winner Nick is right meow.  Triple Jeebus.

And the final note.  Of course the wreck affected my left hand, which already has more issues than Time Magazine.  At least it's not my bidet hand tho, so I'll be okay.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So it's true - influencers caused the bike parts shortage.