swim, bike, run, repeat.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Look or SPD?

I'm asking for opinions: do you prefer Look of SPD? Right now, I'm wearing a pair of Lake road shoes that are SPD. When it gets warmer, I'm going to switch to a pair of Sidi tri shoes, and was considering switching over to Look pedals. Is there any advantage? I'm quite pleased with the SPDs, and I tend to stick with whatever I use the first time (case in point: I'm still riding with the same saddle that came with my bike), but I have a pair of Look pedals and was curious.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Maple Syrup and a Meth Lab


This past Sunday, I rode my 3rd group ride. It was the first of the Mad Dog Century rides, but since I am most definitely not ready for that, I decided to just ride the first half (56 miles). The weather was great (save for a few brief rainy bits), I managed to actually hang with the group, and there was the promise of pancakes at the end, as my ride ended at the Annual Maple Syrup Festival.

The ride started in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and wound around up to Salem.  A fun fact about Indiana: instead of salt, it uses cinders on the roads in inclement weather. This led to numerous flats throughout the day, myself included. I was about 5 miles from my finish, going up the biggest hill on the route (Leota Road), and while I'm not great on hills, I was having waaay too hard of time. I'm just chugging along, and then I realize that something doesn't sound quite right. The past half hour or so, I had been flagging, and then I realized why: my back tire was flat.  I get off, walk the bike for awhile to find a good place to change the tire (not only is this hill long, it's really curvy, and I was afraid of being taken out by a car), then try to change it. Yes, I said try. I have carpal tunnel, and any prolonged time on the bike makes my thumbs kinda useless, so I just couldn't get the damn tire off to get to the tube. Eventually, I just gave up, used a CO2 cartridge to fill it, and hoped that since I was so close to the finish, I could make it.

Not so much.

I did manage to make it to the top of the hill and down the road a bit, but all the air was gone. I pulled off into someone's drive, since the right side of the road went into a ditch. Murphy tools up next to me, and goes about changing my tire for me, because he is nice like that. Steve then circled back for me, knowing I had had tire trouble since he passed me on the hill. With the change almost done, this old guy and his buddy come out of their mobile home and make a beeline for us.

"Ya'll know whose land you be on?" (cue the banjo music from Deliverance)

"No, sir."

"Well, this here is MY land!"

"We're just helping this young lady change her tire."

"Well,  I don't care what ya'll think yer doin.' You're on my land!"

Technically, we were probably on the easement, but I was not about to point this out.

"We can move across the road if you'd like."

"I don't care where you move to. What makes you people think you can just come onto other people's land...."

Cleatus and his buddy give us the stink eye as we move our bikes into the ditch on the other side of the road, all the while cursing us, and possibly our mothers. Murphy and Steve get my wheel back on, and we take off, but right before we start pedaling, Steve goes,

"Whatcha wanna bet he had a meth lab?"


Note:  I want to thank my husband Ben for more or less giving up his Sunday for me. He got up early in order to drop me and my bike off at the start point before 8am, then drove almost an hour to meet me the the festival, to which I arrived almost an hour later than I said I would, and then took my bike to the car for me so I wouldn't have to walk through a field in my bike cleats. He was rewarded with pancakes.