It’s been a bit of an ordeal

The new bicycle, I mean.

First, the little screw that holds the cable guide to my fork is somewhere under my deck boards after my butterfingers dropped it.

I had removed it to put a protective wrap on the bike frame and fork, and that cost me about 4 hours of my life. In future, I will pay someone to put it on. I will also not do it on the deck. Apparently, the screw is very fork specific and no shops carry them, so I had to write the fork manufacturer and they are now mailing me a new screw.

I then put on my old clipless pedals, because this will be a distance bike, and it will be more energy efficient. Only it isn’t when you are tipping over comically every time you stop because you forget to clip out in time. Or you hesitate on big features because you might not get your other foot clipped in in time. I’d forgotten that feeling of terror riding something sketchy with only one foot clipped in.

And then, because on your inaugural ride, you fell over at the top on a rock (f*@king clips!), you bent your derailleur hanger, so it won’t shift properly and on your second ride, you attempt a steppy rock feature and get bounced around because the new fangled suspension system hasn’t really been set because you can’t quite figure out how to find the rebound adjustment.

So you take it to a shop to fix everything and help you find the little levers and knobs to adjust suspension after only two rides but now you’re not feeling confident on this bike and contemplating putting flat pedals on so it’s one less factor to contend with while learning how to handle the thing. Only you had extra old flat pedals in the garage but in your purge a mere two weeks ago, you donated them because it had been three years since they last saw use, and what were you saving them for anyway?

So that’s where we are.

I don’t know what to do about the pedals.

I need to get used to being clipped in again, because there’s so much security in being attached to your bike, especially when things get rowdy, but at the same time, it’s nice to be able to get on your bike at some weird steep location without having to worry about getting your foot in right.

Oh! And in between rides one and two, I rode my usual bike on a steep, committing trail that really ought not to be ridden in the high heat of summer because it gets so dry that the dirt is all marbles and moondust, which is to say, terrible for traction and exceptionally terrifying when steep because there is no guarantee of control or braking ability when required. I slid out on a rock and came off my bike, proceeding to slide the rest of the way down the rock on my behind. There is now a considerable bruise on my right buttock and left thigh.

And and and..

I might not be eating enough based on my day three fatigue, and this whole nutrition thing is proving hard to dial in.

I’ve ridden three days in a row. Four hours on day one, three hours on day two (plus a one hour trainer ride and a three hour bike park lesson where again, the dusty conditions and my fall earlier in the day had my mindset and confidence plunging to the deepest depths), and then a three hour ride on day three that probably could have been 2.5 hours had I not been so fatigued and dealing with shifting issues from the bent hanger from day one. I’m not working full time, if you’re wondering, because I’ve actually taken time off specifically to train.

I really need to get this sorted if I’m going to make it through the race; seven days of riding, six days of likely 4-7 hours each day. It’s making me feel a little panicky. I am only aiming to finish, injury free and bicycle intact.

And to add to the stress? There’s a case I need to go to court to testify for, during the race of course, and if they can’t adjust the court schedule for me to testify early, they can technically subpoena me to appear and I’d have to miss a day of the race, which would mean I wouldn’t get to actually finish it, which is making me a little sick to my stomach thinking about it, after all the work and training put in so far. I’ve been praying (and I’ll ask you too, real people of the internet, to pray) that the case will simply settle.

I am a princess and can’t handle my first world problems. So below is a photo of the new bicycle enjoying the view of the alpine shortly after I’d done a three hour or so climb and swum in a little glacial lake at the top of a mountain. You climb through forests, and then fields of mountain wildflowers, and then reach the rocks.

I need photos like this to remind me why I love riding my bike. It’s so quiet up there. So still and peaceful. That’s not the lake I swam in. There are a whole bunch up there, in varying shades of dark teal, and they are stunning.

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6 thoughts on “It’s been a bit of an ordeal

  1. I never get rid of pedals. I never seem to have enough. Can’t you just swap pedals with your other bike? I’m still riding clipless. I constantly get stopped by the kids I coach right in front of any and every obstacle. I’m getting pretty good at riding them with one foot unclicked.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In retrospect, there was a little voice inside that said, “don’t” as I packed them into the donate box, but then I told myself to stop hoarding, and now I’ve just gone out and bought another set of pedals. I could use pedals from my other bikes, but I ride all of them frequently enough that it would be annoying to switch over with every ride. I know it’s a practice thing with the clips, I just haven’t got the patience…

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  2. Ergh.

    Sorry you. This sounds, rubbish.

    My vote is obviously no-clips. Unless you’re doing lots of climbing. Or serious distance.

    But really, my preference is to go quick and smash into roots and bits of log. Being clipped in I feel, makes that experience less likely to go well for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will be doing lots of climbing and distance… The race is 7 days. 40-50 km a day, 1400-1800m elevation a day. And I’ve been getting bounced off my pedals lately on challenging terrain.
      Smashing into roots and bits of log might actually go better if you’re clipped in because momentum will carry you and your bicycle over the object, as opposed to just you going over with out the bicycle? eh, it makes sense in *my* head.

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      1. Yeah multi day climbing attaching yourself to your bicycle is right… god I hope you don’t die. I will miss you if you do obviously. So maybe try to live

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