Elapsed time: 1 week, 1 day, 19 hours, 38 minutes, 18 seconds (approx)
This is no sob story or rant of self pity, simply a telling of my last week and a half.
Backstory: I've been planning a race. Its going to be over 50 miles involving as many of the worst hills I can find within a 6 mile raduis around downtown Atlanta. I wanted to create a race like this for the sole purpose of competing in it. I'd scouted and ridden all of the hills, mostly on rides between 11pm and 4am. The route was set, prizes were on thier way, people were telling me they were going to be there and calling me for more information. This brings us to Friday, October 6th...
One of the mechanics at my shop tells me that his friend wants his frame back (a purple beast of track perfection. near as we can tell it was probably a mexican colnago or some custom job with a Suntour Superbe crank and Dura-Ace BB). His friend had given me the frame in july on my word that I'd pay him $250 when i got the money. I thought no sweat. I was letting my friend borrow my old frame. I'd sell that one to him for $150, save the rest, and have a beautiful frame of my own. Fast forward 3 months, no money from my friend, $100 saved goes toward rent, frame hangs in the shop waiting for its owner to come pick it up.
No worries, I've got my trusted Atala track frame. My daily commuter since I got it for $40 in january. It was heavy (23lb) but it was the best fitting bike I'd ever come across. I scouted every hill for the race on that bike and only had to walk one (300m of 20% grade). The geometry was perfect, steep but with a longish wheelbase. Did I meniton that it was completly chromed? It was going to be my long distance race bike, forgiving yet fast, stiff yet comfortable. It was going to be the bike I left to my kids (if any of them were able to fit a 62cm frame). But as I was heading home from marking the course for the race on Wednesday night, I ran dead on into a curb. It was my fault for not paying attention to the "traffic calming" measures that had been taken recently on my street. Namely bulb-outs, which are structures that stretch from the side curb out to the edge of the traffic lane (some 6-8 feet) to prevent cars from being parked too close to the enterance of the pre-fab lofts on the street. I had looked up just in time to see the curb and unweight my front wheel. I ended up standing in the middle of several small shrubs, straddling my bike as I listened to the air whisp out of two pinch-flatted tubes. I walked home and didn't noitice until the next day that the top tube and down tube had buckled where they entered the head lugs.
I was upset, but not to worry. I've got my old road bike to finish marking the 30 odd miles left for the race. Thursday night was spent in a car marking about 15 miles of the course. Friday night was spent gathering all of the parts that had been used for other bikes to re-assemble the road bike, only to find that the headset was trashed. I walked the course that night, marking about 5 miles. And i walked to work saturday morning.
It was down to the old standby. A fuji touring frame from 1984. It was in great condition. all i needed to do was trade over the wheels from the Atala, throw on the chain and I'm se to go. Understandibly, I left this task to about 2 am sunday morning. With the race starting at 8am, I figured that I had plenty of time to throw the bike together and finish marking that last 10 miles. Until I realized that the only chain i had was from the track bike. And with the Fuji's longer chainstays, I was left with about a link and a half of air between the two ends.
Luckily my friend had loaned me his 2nd bike to get home from his house where we were printing t-shirts until 1:30am. I was able to use that bike to finish the course and get to the registration point at 7:30. Where it promptly became apparent that the 45 deg temp had scared away all but 20 riders. (we don't take kindly to cool mornings here in the south, I suppose). I was not one of the 20.
Here my story ends. More recently, I've gotten a new chain for the Fuji. The riders all had a good time and I think we only came out about $200 in the hole. The race that I had created for the sole purpose of riding myself has come and gone along with two bikes, a campy record headset, and a sense that having only four bikes in your stable was plenty for surmounting all that life could throw at you.