Sunday, July 09, 2006
Well, that’s all that can be said about the last couple of weeks. The 24Hrs of Summer Solstice did not go as planned, and I was pretty disappointed to say the least. I was initially going to fill-in for a team that was short a few riders in the corporate class, then it was changed to riding with my close friends in the 5-man, but when I arrived I was placed back on the other team. I was actually going to cancel and stay home to work on the car until I was told I was riding on the 5-man team! Well, the start of the race was going great until just about 2 miles in when my chain somehow wedged in-between the granny and middle ring! It took loosening the ring bolts to get it out! I went from sitting comfortably in 2nd on the leader’s wheel to find myself having to pass what seemed to be the entire field! I still somehow managed to keep the team in 14th place after the opening lap…I guess it was the anger from the chain issue, not once but twice during that lap! Returning to camp I removed the granny ring and adjusted the set-screws, but when I placed my cranks back on the retaining bolt of the Shimano cranks failed. No one had a replacement, and the on-site Shimano mechanics stated to borrow one to draw the cranks tight before removing the bolt and tightening the crank arm. They said ride it and it will be fine. Well, my warm-up was great but on the first climb just 3 mins into lap #2 the crank arm came off sending my Achilles into the splined shaft! Man it hurt! I had to pedal back to camp to find the next rider pedaling with 1 leg. We ended up losing about 11mins, with the total from my mechanicals now close to 15mins! I was getting pissed!!! I then borrowed a teammate’s part and went out for another lap burning up the course. My anger must’ve been pretty obvious as not many from this point forward delayed at my warnings to pass, some even dove off the trail into the trees to get out of my way, and I only had to physically run over 1 guy who tried to speed up to keep me from passing until he went over the bars on a tricky downhill. Being within about 2 feet of his rear wheel my only option was to run him over! Ha! It was great! When the darkness set-in my dominance of the trail became even more prevalent as I blasted through the trees calling out passes left and right while some yelled at me “you’re crazy”…yes, I was! By dawn I had pulled time out of all of the leaders jumping the team up to 5th place, while passing by some of my fellow CMR team members’, Bernie and Mark, team “Moe’s Smokin’ Tires.” Then on my last “planned” double lap to finish the race I again suffered a mechanical. The 1st of the 2 laps was going great until about the ½ way mark when my chain started to skip. I went through each gear on the cassette to where eventually each of them was slipping. I had to bail after moving the team into 4th place and taking almost another 2mins out of 3rd. Coming into the timing tent I yelled for a team mate hoping someone was prepared for the chance of a mechanical…they were…so I handed off the racing chip and ended my strike. I was easily set on overtaking 3rd to place the team on the podium, but in the end I had to concede. If it weren’t for my mechanicals I could’ve most likely had the team vying for 1st, but it wasn’t meant to be. 4th place was the final standing for the team, Unruly Racing. This was the 1st time being on a team that I have not come out of the event with a winner’s jersey…I was upset. Oh, well. On the home front, my car has not been touched in 2 weeks! That will now change. For the Independence holiday Julz, Thane, and I traveled to my parents’ new home in SC for some R&R on the lake, but I also put in a lot of hard work! They needed a dock built for the boat, so I constructed the frame for the fixed portion of the dock. The heat was horrible, although the temp was only in the low 90’s the humidity was high. The Gatorade was, but wasn’t “in me” as it was exiting my skin as fast as I could drink it…kinda like their commercial as it shows it going in in the various colored flavors and sweating out in those colors…Haha! Julz and I still found time to get in wakeboarding and slalom skiing each day, along with a cruise at night to enjoy the cool clear evenings while the parents watched Thane. Now back home I need to hook up with some friends to acquire an engine stand to borrow to assemble my car’s engine. Hopefully I’ll have it started this weekend! My goal is to have it running within a couple of months. I’ll be calling a favor of a few friends to help me get it ready to be cranked over the first time after it is assembled. I’ll also have to get caught up on the Tour ‘de France, as I’ve not had a chance to read or watch any of it yet!