IM Louiville

IM Louiville
Bikes racked at Ironman Louisville 2010

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Off We Go To California!

I meant to take a picture of the new road bike to show you all, but haven't had time. I picked her up (her name is Sylvia) last week and things have been rather crazy!

The first thing I needed to do was put some pedals on her. Sure, changing pedals is easy, you say. Well, I have had a bad experience in pedal-changing that involved stripping a crank and going on a wild goose chase that lasted several months to find a replacement crank to make that bike usable. Therefore, I was extra-special careful when removing the pedals from my old Trek (from here on out known as Sanford...as in Sanford and Son because the bike is a piece of junk). It actually went a lot smoother than I expected.

Secondly, Sylvia (the new bike) came with a 12-23 cassette. No, I'm not a gear head, but these are things you learn about very quickly when it comes to riding hilly courses. Because Sylvia does not have a triple chain ring in the front, nor do I want to get one, I needed to get a 12-27 cassette for this weekend's ride. In case you didn't know, Solvang is hilly. Like, we here in Illinois have no idea what hills are compared to what they have in California. You people who have ridden the Ironman Wisconsin course and think it's hilly have no idea what hilly is compared to the hills in Solvang. If you've done Horribly Hilly...well, you're close.

SO - that means a 12-27 is essential if I want to be riding the century vs. walking my bike for a majority of the ride. I don't claim to have any sort of bike mechanic knowledge, but hey, you gotta start somewhere. My buddy, CJB (also known as JQ) said he had a 12-27 he'd let me borrow for the ride. Sweet, I didn't have to scramble to find one. I drive over to his house only to find that, no, he DOES NOT have a 12-27, he has a 12-25. Well, I don't need that...a)I MUST have a 12-27 and b)Gus has a 12-25, and I could've just used that if I wanted to go that route. (Gus is my triathlon also known as a TT bike). More importantly, while I'm at JQ's bike shop (a.k.a. garage), he gives me a quick lesson in changing a cassette.

Mind you, this all happens in less than a week and I DO have a full-time job, ya know! I locate a local bike shop that has the cassette and get ready to do the dirty work. You get to use this fancy-looking tool with a chain hanging from it for this job. And, although I was given a very nice bike tool box for my birthday last year, it does not have the right size wrench for this task. I tear up every junk drawer in the kitchen and box in the garage for a wrench and come up empty. (Note to self: Husband is not allowed to TOUCH my tools!) I got so frustrated, I had to walk away and go start some laundry. After I calmed down, I went back on my hunt for a wrench. Found one, not exactly what I was looking for, but I figured it was good enough for the job.

I take my time, and in less than 10 minutes, the new cassette is installed. You've got to be kidding, that was quite easy! It was much harder to find a wrench than it was to change the stupid thing. I run to the garage, put the wheel on the bike and shift it up and down to make sure I did it right. Yep, it works. Well, you can't really do this incorrectly...almost idiot-proof.

Last piece my new baby needed was bottle cages. It came without any. For a century ride in the 80 degree weather we're expecting, I wanted two. Got them from the same bike shop I got the cassette and another 10 minutes goes by while I install those. Oh yeah, compact pump gets attached when you put on the cages...stole that off Sanford, too. Not like he'll be needing it anymore. He's headed for retirement!

After all the finishing touches, it's just a matter of taking the bike apart to put it in the bike box for the flight to CA. I've decided that I'm out of practice in the art of disassembling the bike. Again, not difficult, but there are all these cool little tricks that I've been taught (mostly by BC) that just make your life a little easier when you get the bike to its destination and have to put it together again.

I plan on bringing the camera to CA for the trip and hope to get a few good pictures I can share with you. I, in no way, feel prepared to ride 100 miles in the hills of California at this time of year (heck, I don't think I'd feel prepared at ANY time of year!), but I do plan to have some fun while I enjoy the good weather, beautiful scenery and wonderful company.

2 comments:

celmore76 said...

I did that 3500 yards in 65 minutes. On an aerobic swim workout, I average around 45 seconds per 50 yards. So that would be about 3 minutes for 200 yards. My fastest IM swim was a 1:05.

Griz said...

Da coach is gonna use his fancy calculator to figure out what I should get. I'm guessing 12-23.