Sunday, September 20, 2009

The year of the wheel

I know 2 days with no post. It's a coin toss, was there nothing to write or was I to busy to write? Your decision, I know what I think the answer would be. Anyways.

This season has been an interesting year when it comes to the wheels I own. The carnage is adding up. I'll back it up just a hair. Headed out on the road bike to put some miles in my legs. I changed the wheels on the road bike to remedy a problem I found on my main wheels. Ride was going great, headed up the Big Chute Loop but the fun way. Yep get the long boring flats out of the way early and get the tempo rollers in on the second half of the ride.

Even the boring flats are not boring, great weather, no traffic, sun is shinning. I was smiling from ear to ear just being out there. There was going to be no rain on my parade today! Or so I thought. About an hour into the ride I heard a few strange noises out of the rear wheel when I shifted into some of the smallest cogs. I stopped once to make sure the cassette hadn't come loose, nope all good. When I made the 3rd rail road crossing at Severn Bridge is when I knew I could been in a bit of trouble.

You have all heard that saying, I felt like I had no chain on the pedalling was so easy. Well how about no freehub?? 53/11 never felt so easy. Of course I stopped, not much of a choice. Spinning the crank I could here some not so good things going on. No these wheels are not neglected, actually they are less than a year old and maybe have 500km on them. I gave the wheel a little tap on the ground. Yes a tap not a knock out of true whack that I wanted to do, and the hub engaged. There was going to be no hammering hills or coasting. I wanted endurance pace I was going to get it.

Came through the Big Chute over the marine railway which was soaked. I'm coasting over this. It's slippery when it's dry with lots of body wrecking metal, the off season is coming and badly damaged is not the way I want to spend it. Of course you know what happened on the other side of the tracks. Did the same thing again and got the hub to engage again. I did the little rear wheel hop while in motion and I was off again.

Finished up my ride another hour later, 70ish km with a broken freehub, funny thing, I was still smiling the whole time. It was to nice out to not be. I've yet to take the wheel apart to see what's up with it.

So the year of damage to my wheels. Well there was my Crossmax SLR's that now is front wheel less.

Actually it's ride able but the twist in the rim does have a nice feel to it at high speeds. I had a nice little crash with it last year and point a small dent in the rim which started the retirement of the front wheel. Of course the famous Hardwood Canada Cup stall during a preride basically put the nail in the coffin. Ya that was not my most graceful moment and I'm supposedly a strong technical rider. I do make most of my mistakes while riding slow. Momentum will get you through, I obviously didn't have any!!! Have you ever priced out a rim for a SLR, ya exactly.

So now it's the Aksium's that blew the free hub. These are my spare wheels for the cross bike. Normally bomb proof, but this was a big bomb in the hub.

Now the thing that pissed me off a little was this. Yes, that is a crack in the rim. I was just riding along when!!! I touched my rear brake and heard a weird rhythmical thump. Didn't see anything with a quick once over but once home I saw the nice crack. I'm checking into warranty on this one. I love these wheels.

So this temporarily leaves me with no road ready wheels. I can't even miss match sets. My cross bike is ready for what else, cross. I do have my trainer only rear wheel which is a tank, I swear it weighs as much as one of my bikes. Now the only good thing is that the season is coming to an end. It could mean a set of slicks and an Anthem on the road till I get everything everything sorted out. Or I may just have to get next year's pretty new road bike a little earlier than planned.

Doesn't matter, heading to Hardwood Ski and Bike to put a couple laps in on next weekend's 8 hour course. I'm excited to race again in Ontario against lots of friends. I basically figure the end reason I came home early from the 24 hour race. There was no competition which meant I had no reason to push myself or to push through a little pain. Pretty weak reason but my competitive side needs a motivation. I don't like racing when it's a guaranteed win, it's not racing then right? A win doesn't mean much if you didn't have to work your ass of to get it. Next weekend I will have to work my ass off if Iwant to win, perfect!!!! Of course so will everyone else and that means that nothing is for certain, the way I like it.

Gotta roll.


Anonymous said...

If you did your homework before the race you would have known it was a small field. (or as you say a guaranteed win and not worth racing in) Guaranteed win or not, you still need to ride for 24hrs which is something that hasn't happened in a few years. You need to show your sponsors that you can complete a 24 race. Maybe come test yourself at one of the larger winter events here in the southern states?

Matt Spak said...

That is the plan for next season. A few trips down south, maybe a 100 miler or 2 along with u.s. nationals. I should have checked a little more into the race but the timing was perfect for my holidays etc. Nothing is guarentted by I do like to work hard to place 2nd or 3rd etc.