Tuesday, February 13

Winter Shart Tarck '24: Race Four Predumble

The Monday after last week's race, I was mentally fried.  Can't explain it.  The crush of reality and constant reminders of mortality.  Morose shit.

On Tuesday, I woke up anxious over my to-do list of things, and despite convincing myself that the floppy front brake lever could wait until after Winter Shart Tarck was over, I couldn't help myself.  A bunch of Googling had reassured me that it was a spring thing and not a sticky piston issue, so it really wouldn't be affecting brake performance.  Its impact on my mental well-being loomed much larger tho, as this is one minor complication in my life that I might actually be able to solve, thus giving my a very small but much needed check in the win column.

So at 7:30AM, with only about 20-25 minutes to play with, I went for it.

I didn't really know what I was looking for exactly.  I've got one old broken lever blade I kept for parts, a new complete lever blade that I always travel with, and a complete rear lever assembly that I don't know where it came from for reference.  Hurried hands trembling from my morning coffee, reading glasses on my nose for working on the little things as I set to task.

Worth mentioning that the process was quite frustrating when I went to remove the tiny set screw and the ball end of my 2mm Bondhus key broke off in the screw.  I thought it had just broke free and couldn't figure out why it wasn't coming out.  It wasn't until I stuck a different magnetized 2mm Allen key in there, and it pulled out the tiny chunk of steel.

PS: I'm done with my Bondhus Allen key experiment.

Despite the unnecessary challenges...

Add another item to the list of things that I now know can go wrong.  No idea how it broke.  Had a hard time figuring out the how and where of getting the cadaver donated spring bits into the lever assembly.

I was wondering how old my current XTR M9020 brakes are, so I did a search on my blerhg.  Huh.  Seven years old and this is really the first issue that wasn't user error aka letting the bike hit the ground and breaking off the blade.  Also this:

Lesson learned.  Again.  I made sure to slide an old pin through the new complete lever blade backup so the springs will never fall out forcing me to reeducate myself in the future.

And yeth, I was able to get it all back together in time to not be late for work, but not quick enough to have time to get all the dirty mineral oil out from under my fingernails.  Fortunately, they have low standards for my appearance in the workplace.

One minor victory put a little gas in the tank.  The rest of the week?

I had my fastest run yet.  The next day, I had my longest run yet.  The day after that, I was feeling how dumb that was, so continuing down the path of the dumbs, I joined Dr Mike and Bill Nye for a long under-biking adventure down the greenway for a loop around the ASCG trail system.
This bridge is pretty crucial to the ASCG trails, and it's a shame it got taken out in a storm.  You can work around it, but it's a hassle... and who knows if the Treeshaker 6 Hour Race (which has become my Labor Day staple) can happen without this bridge.

Under-biking is stupid, yet I love it so much.  Managed to overcook one corner and take an unplanned trip into the woods.   

Sunday morning, I could feel all those things.  Ending a ride up the greenway from South Carolina trading turns in the wind towards the magnetic pull of Brawley's Beverage was not necessarily smart (but fun?).

At least I'm holding onto my commitment to not let Winter Shart Track on Sunday affect my choices on Saturday (or apparently any other day of the week).

And FWIW: I finally gave in and started editing my rides on STRAVA to reflect which bikes went on which rides... which all started so I could keep track of the mileage on my shoes so I could replace them before they start making my meat sticks hurt.  I changed all the rides (except tarck bike commutes and beer bike miles) all the way back to January 1st.

My biggest relief is that my garvel bike finally caught back up to and surpassed my shoes.  Note: I'm 43 days into not riding one of my money pits.

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