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Old 05-07-08, 03:13 PM   #1
The Weak Link
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Club Tombay. Best. Ride. Ever.

After taking the entire winter away from my mountan bike, I've been riding it every chance I get over the past two weeks. It's been great. Climbing every hill in the area on my road bike has really paid off in my MTB climbing and handling skills. MTB'ing is fun at last.

This morning I was riding a section of the trail that I don't like -- it's very tight and twisty, with poor visability. I usually ring my Mirabell to keep from being run over by an oncoming rider.

I didn't ring the bell today as it was early and I had seen no one on the trails. So as I go around a sharp turn, I look up and gaze into the limpid blue eyes of a beautiful lanky blonde.

My eyes scan down to take in her most important feature: her dog leash. It was not attached to anything.

If I were a beautiful lanky blonde, I would not be about a park on a trail by myself. I would have a big-ass dog close behind me, or so I reasoned.

Sure enough, instantly I'm confronted by a huge dog, easily the size of a small VW. It was friendly enough, but I came to a panic stop.

My M520s, reeling from rumors that they release inappropriately, clung to my Sidi's for dear life. The result: a full Tombay, flat on my keister.

Fortunately my keister is well padded, so there was no pain involved. The girl was appologetic. The scoring:

Tombay in front of a beautiful lanky blonde -- 8 points.
Being spooked by a big harmless mutt -- 4 points.
No other witnesses, and no laughter from the girl -- 0 points.
Not being silly enough to say "What a beautiful animal -- and I like your dog too" -- 1 point.

For the rest of the trail ride I tackled some stuff that I normally shy away from. I remembered one of the teaching points on MTBing: when in doubt, go faster. Momentum is your friend.

It worked until I left the trail head and wandered out into an intersection, only to be confronted by cars blocking my every route. Another panic stop.

This time my Sidi once again held fast to the M520, and I went down on the pavement, the bike flipping over me, and fruit punch Gatorade pouring out of one of my bottles right on my gut.

A terrifed woman leaped out of her minivan. "Are you OK? Can I do anything for you?"

"Yes. Pretend that you didn't just see that!".

She thought it was funny.

The score:

Tombay while you were congratulating yourself on what a good biker you'd become -- 8 points.
Falling in the middle of an intersection with bow-coo witnesses -- 6 points.
Scaring the crap out of some hapless minivan driver -- 6 points.
Having the presence of mind to have a minimally amusing rejoinder -- 2 points.
Dripping with fruit puch Gatorade after the ride -- 2 points.

I'm not very competitive but I challenge anyone to have had a higher point total in just an hour and a half of riding. And I wish I were embellishing this, but it's God's Own Truth.
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Old 05-07-08, 03:17 PM   #2
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Sounds like a good ride...anytime you can be embarrased twice in such a short time and not have to go see the sychologist or shrink or bone doc must be a good ride.
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Old 05-07-08, 03:17 PM   #3
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I would rate the fall in front of the girl higher- but there was no request for a hands on medical assistance to see if anything was broken so perhaps about right. One vital ingredient was missing though and you have to be downgraded for it- NO BLOOD.
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Old 05-07-08, 03:21 PM   #4
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One vital ingredient was missing though and you have to be downgraded for it- NO BLOOD.
Yeah, the chicks really dig it.
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Old 05-07-08, 03:31 PM   #5
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A terrifed woman leaped out of her minivan. "Are you OK? Can I do anything for you?"

"Yes. Pretend that you didn't just see that!".
Perfect response. You are conservative in your scoring.
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Old 05-07-08, 03:36 PM   #6
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I had an experience years back riding down a steep rocky trail. My buddy left me because I was going so slow. I know better to go fast but fear (never good) set in and going too slow, I dropped over this boulder, the shock dug in and I was launched up and over my handlebars. I landed on my head, then my back (thank goodness the Camelback cushioned the fall) and then sat up. Awesome fall but no one saw it so -0- points for that. When I picked myself up I noticed this puddle in the dirt. A red mud puddle. Turned out although I didn't bust my neck (although I thought for sure I would) I did rightly crack open my elbow. The blood was now flowing so much it was dripping off my fingers. I started walking down (so not riding down gives me -0- points) when my buddy, with spider senses, came back fearing the worst. We put the bikes down as he got out his first aid gear. I was just standing there waiting, blood now completely covering my right side, when this rider came chuggin up the trail. He first saw my buddy and then me covered in blood and without saying a word, gave me a "thumbs up" and a nod in effect saying - "righteous! blood everywhere and she ain't crying. Must have been a good fall!" All the -0- points erased and I got 10 good ones for that. Also add another 10 for requiring 8 stitches when I got to the hospital (BTW I thought nah, I don't need stitches. We tried to cover the wound with gauze and we rode out. By the time I got to the car, blood everywhere. More gauze. Went to Performance Bike to pick up my new pedals, standing there waiting to pay, and I felt something cold on my leg, blood everywhere! Figure if it didn't stop bleeding in 3 hours, I probably needed stitches! )

Tell me why I like to mountain bike????
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Old 05-07-08, 03:43 PM   #7
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This almost qualifies you for Club Tombay Hall of Fame.

I'm very much looking forward to your next ride. I hope the next civilians you encounter are carrying cameras!
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Old 05-07-08, 04:31 PM   #8
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Very well done.

In this time of inattention to detail we find that there are still some riders who can produce a masterpiece (unlike those who feign the use of clipless pedals) of embarrassment without serious self damage. As the self appointed (volunteer position) coordinator of membership motivation for club Tombay I must take my hat off to you WL.

Very well done indeed.
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Old 05-07-08, 05:15 PM   #9
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Uh hmm. Club Tombay. Just about re-joined it today for a 3rd time since I went clipless last year. Pulled to a stop to take a break near a brick wall on my right. I was unclipped on the left side. Reached out for the wall and forgot I was still clipped in on the right side. As I started to go down, I somehow yanked my right foot out of the A520 and rescued myself. I have them set on the lowest tension. I don't think I could have saved myself if I still had the CB Candy SLs on it.

The left unclipped foot automatically went up under the bottom bracket and cut my leg on the sharp edge of a zip tie holding my wire from the cadence sensor on the left chainstay and of course, I got the usual chainring tatoo on my sock.

That was a close one... and would have likely done some damage to me and/or the bike as it was near the corner of the wall.

Whew. Dodged a bullet that time.
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Old 05-07-08, 05:43 PM   #10
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Hmmm...perhaps some adjustment to the pedals/cleats is in order?
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Old 05-07-08, 06:07 PM   #11
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OK what exactly is the reference to "Club Tombay?" I mean where did this term come from, and why? (I didn't get the memo)

And yeah, I think I have had my share too... Recently just bought an MTB and while testing it, with my SPD shoes, I failed to understand the true meaning of "Momentum is your friend." (new MTB rider, after all... ) and I lost it on a rough pile of rocks... I couldn't clip out fast enough. My son was just in front of me and has no experience with clipless pedals, so opted to use the platform side of his pedals and did just fine... but somewhat chuckled at dad "with all that biking experience" being the one to hit the ground.
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Old 05-07-08, 06:15 PM   #12
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Tombay is a play on the French for "fall", much as Mellow Johnny is a play on the French for yellow jersey. I believe one of the West Coasters coined the term.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:11 PM   #13
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Tomber is French for fallen. Club Tombay is the bas******** english version as voted on by the 50+ membership just last year. Translated as the "Club of the Fallen". Membership involves a public confession of the event. The most common membership entry is the 0 speed fall over, sometimes called the Artie Johnson..... It is very unsafe to make light of membership with a "Never happen to me statement"
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Old 05-07-08, 07:44 PM   #14
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I gotta say, TWL, a twofer is gonna be hard to top. Wringing all those points out of each crash is equally impressive.
You've taken "Club Tombay" from Artie Johnson to Evel Knievel in one ride.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:56 PM   #15
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@TWL, see you're still doing your Weds.ride. I wouldn't mind joining you sometime, but luckily(?) I've been steadily employed lately. Thought this last one might have ended now, but looks like this job may last a while. But at least it's keeping me in gas money (if gas doesn't go much higher!). Sounds like you had a good ride today, can't remember the last time my mtn bike was out. Not sure if it still works. Replaced a btm. bracket over the winter and haven't ridden it since the replacement. If I ever get some time off, or can try and squeeze in a weekend ride, I'll call. Just take it easy on this old guy-I'm a bit rusty after being off the bike so long!!
BTW--Still have platforms on it-bet you wish you had them today!!
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Old 05-07-08, 08:14 PM   #16
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Tell me why I like to mountain bike????
You MTBrs should have a sub-Forum. Tombay Club.
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Old 05-08-08, 05:09 AM   #17
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Actually I'd never go back to platforms. Clipless is the only way to go, especially on a mountain bike. What happened yesterday was purely karmic.
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Old 05-08-08, 05:25 AM   #18
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This has to be the best account of an entry into the Tombay Club I've ever read

Glad you weren't hurt.
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Old 05-08-08, 05:45 AM   #19
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I also "Tombayed" twice on the the same ride. My very first ride with clipless. Discovered later that the problem was that I hadn't tightened the cleats fully and they pivoted instead of releasing. My question is how did you land on your keister? Both times I fell over on my side, skinning both my elbows and spraining my right wrist, which I had used to support my fall.
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Old 05-08-08, 07:46 AM   #20
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It sounds as if you should perhaps change to the multi-directional cleat. This might prevent you from tumping over again.


http://www.bikepro.com/products/pedals/shimspd.html

To vary the style of disengagement, Shimano has two types of SPD cleats, each with tow style of disengagement. The one that comes with all their pedal sets is the SM-SH50 (MTB) or SM-SH70 (Road). They are Black in color, made of forged steel, and will permit your foot to release only with lateral motion by twisting your foot away from the pedal horizontally. The other cleat is the SM-SH55 (MTB), or SM-SH71 (Road). It is Silver in color and will permit your foot to release with lateral motion, or sharp vertical motion, or even a twisting diagonal upward movement of the shoe. The SM-SH55 is available only as an aftermarket replacement for the SH-50 pair that come as original equipment with their pedals. Incidentally, the difference between the two types is the depth of the notches that the clamps grip on the upper side of the cleat.
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Old 05-08-08, 07:51 AM   #21
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It sounds as if you should perhaps change to the multi-directional cleat. This might prevent you from tumping over again.


http://www.bikepro.com/products/pedals/shimspd.html

To vary the style of disengagement, Shimano has two types of SPD cleats, each with tow style of disengagement. The one that comes with all their pedal sets is the SM-SH50 (MTB) or SM-SH70 (Road). They are Black in color, made of forged steel, and will permit your foot to release only with lateral motion by twisting your foot away from the pedal horizontally. The other cleat is the SM-SH55 (MTB), or SM-SH71 (Road). It is Silver in color and will permit your foot to release with lateral motion, or sharp vertical motion, or even a twisting diagonal upward movement of the shoe. The SM-SH55 is available only as an aftermarket replacement for the SH-50 pair that come as original equipment with their pedals. Incidentally, the difference between the two types is the depth of the notches that the clamps grip on the upper side of the cleat.
changed to SH56 gold in color for the SPD cleat. I do not know if there is an equivalent change for road cleats.
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