Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Seven - down again

Thursday I got out early to meet the Google ride, not early enough for even
their posted 7 AM start from Ritual - I had to walk the dog. Yeah, that's it. That
or the fact that Christon had thrown
down the gauntlet for a try at the SF2G record. I figured I could hang on the flats
but would be very likely to get thrown on the short climb up San Bruno, and if
the lights didn't favor me it would be all over. So I met them at Millbrae to get
a rapid ride in, using Caltrain to bypass the first section of the ride. I hoped
to get a gander at the paceline from the train, to no avail.

I was not disappointed by the pace, a couple of very strong riders were dropped - no
doubt due to the matches they burned getting over the hills with the hard men. We sped
along towards Redwood City. I had to stay pretty focused to sit in but I felt ok, even
taking a few decent pulls.

One thing about the Bayway Google ride is that with all the stops and starts, traffic
lights, hole shots through poles, etc... that you can dropped and have to close gaps
quite frequently and you have to really pay attention. One spot I was particularly concerned about is called the "Bridge to Nowhere". You ride across a rutted dirt field, up a dirt ramp to a bridge over a creek, then down a dirt ramp that starts with a little dropoff. I have never really handled this section on my road bike with much grace, and the three riders I was with at this point are dirt junkies. I let them have a little space, gritted my teeth, and decided I better clear this one easily.

I cleared the bridge nicely. But I spent too much time congratulating myself, and that added to the gap I left open leading up to the bridge and I was 30 yards off with the hammer going down. I chased for a few miles then had to throw in the towel. Still, a very fun ride. I should have followed racing protocol - instead of dropping back and watching what happened, I should have gone to the front and let them deal with me being in front going over the bridge :)

On my way home Friday, I started having some trouble with my front derailler. I fiddled with the barrel shifter, but I couldn't quite get it working. I decided it was time to get the bike into BeSpoke to have it looked at. Half a mile later my right shoe was wobbling a bit. Pedal screwed in properly? Check. Cleat ok? Check. Fiddling with it a bit, I discovered that the crank was screwing out of the bottom bracket! Argh!

I walked to Caltrain, hitched a ride to BeSpoke, and dropped off the Seven. Fortunately the call came on Saturday that damage to the crank was minimal and the bike is dialed in again.

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