Without a doubt today kind of sucked. Regardless, I never got mad or sad or even mildly annoyed. The tale is as follows…
After taking care of my morning errands, the beautiful weather mandated some seat time, so I decided to head over to Gainesville College Trail on the ‘Goose. Before this could happen though, I had to fix the rear flat, which was no big deal. No big deal except that I had to have a little fight with Ye Olde 17$ Avenir Pump, which for some reason decided that it would work fine for tubes that already had some air in them, but would not work for a tube that was totally empty. Strange, I know. But patience, and switching to a presta adapter, ended up getting the job done.
Once I got to the trail, it was evident that something was not the norm. There were several cops, and when I turned into the lot I almost creamed some SUV that was coming up the wrong side of the road. The cop that was standing there didn’t seem to have an issue with this, but if you ask me, Mr SUV deserved a ticket.
Apparently there was some sort of running event there earlier that day, and the cops and wrong way drivers were lingerers. There was also a line of like 13 port o potties right next to the path leading into the trail.
Since the running event was completed, it was ON for the ride, and so the ride began. Things were straight up squirrelly from the start. Just felt weird. Too much air in the tires, too much loose dirt, old tire on the front with no real traction to speak of…I was sliding and bouncing around with wreckless abandon. Felt very disconnected from the bike, and popping little jumps off roots and stuff just had no flow at all.
At this point in the ride, my legs were feeling okay though…made it up the first and non-climb climb (there are no -real- climbs at GCT) in the big ring without getting too winded. Then, it happened.
The First Blood Drawing Wreck of 2010
Aside from the trail rash, it was a thing of beauty. I had seen some article a zillion years ago about how when you crash, you can dissipate the energy of the fall smoothly by tucking and rolling instead of just smashing to the ground. So, that’s what I did…and it wasn’t really a conscious effort, I just sort of automatically did it. The reaction was automatically triggered by ultradeep programming from a zillion BMX crashes. Seriously, I could have made a “How To Crash” instructional video, it was that proper.
I’m just sayin.
On the downside, I would love to tell you about how the wreck was the result of going full tilt and carving some sick line around an off camber curve or something that would puddle the ladies undies, but it was actually much much the opposite. As I had said earlier, things were going way squirrelly, and there is a point in the trail with a slight rise that has a horizontal root going across the crest…I usually pop a little jump off it…but today my right hand pedal clipped it at the bottom of a pedal stroke, which threw me off balance just enough to send me OTB.
I stood up, brushed it off, laughed, because it seemed appropriate to do so, then got on to finish that lap, thinking that he worst was behind me. Everything about this ride HAS TO get better from here on out.
No major mishaps occurred on the remainder of lap 1. Lap two started without incident, and stayed relatively standard, albeit a little weak and still super squirrelly, for about the first 2/3rds of the way. I always do the first and second laps in opposite directions and this particular direction is what I consider the “slower” route.
Then it happened.
I was coming to a portion of the trail that has some “S” turn action. I carved into the turn at a very mediocre speed, and immediately felt the ass end of the bike sway outward in a very unnatural way. Kept going and carved through about two more sections which netted the same fishtailing type feel, so I hopped off to see wtf was going on.
Turns out I broke what I will call the “Pivot Bolt/Brearing Assembly”, or PBBA for short. In the pic you can see about a half inch of the shaft sticking out of the pivot assembly, which is normally flush with the bearing. In the other side, the which I couldn’t get a good pic of because the drivetrain is in the way, the bearing has completely disintegrated, and since the shaft has pushed through, it basically is just sitting there unrestrained, and has about in inch to an 1 to 1.5 inches of play in any direction. Needless to say, the ride was over. I have to give the old bike credit though, she didn’t make me walk. I was able to pedal back to the car, so long as I took it extremely slow, and took it way easy on the curves and downhills. One interesting thing I found, was that using the granny made the fishtailing MUCH worse. It made it happen when I was just pedaling in a straight line. Damn…Damn the man.
On the way back to the car, it was evident that this may be the death of the old Otero Super(tanker). I have already broken the rear triangle once, which Mongoose replaced under warranty, but I am really not thinking that they are going to replace this part under warranty, since it is actually subject to “wear”. We’ll see though…I will take it in and ask. Hell it may work out that they hook a brotha up! If they try to pull some kind of “we’ll float you the part but you’ll have to pay the labor” then I’ll try to get them to just give me the part and fix it myself. If the repair will cost parts and labor, and it’s more than say…$40…then my old friend will be disassembled and turned into a pile of spare parts, and the aluminum frame components will ceremoniously be taken to the recycling center or someplace where I can cash them in for loot.
Can you believe that by this point I actually still wasn’t pissed? I even suprised myself with that one. Why bother getting angry though? Now at least I know ONE bike I cannot take to Baltimore in November…at least at the moment.
The best part of the whole thing was when I got home. My folks had my 2 year old niece Kaiyah out running around the yard, and she made her way into our workshed. She heard me bugging out about the bike and started saying “I fix it” in that too cute to be real kind of way, then stumbled around looking for a tool so she could “fix it”. She found a rubber hammer, and proceeded to “I fix it” for Uncle Bob, by repeating the phrase over and over while clocking the pedal with the hamer. See, she loves old Uncle B and knows that even though it didn’t make me mad that the bike was broken today, it will surely bother me eventually when I start to miss my time in the woods…and when I think about the lootstack I am going to have to lay out to get this thing fixed or get another bike. Even if the bike never runs again, as far as I am concerned Kaiyah “I fix it” just fine…it was almost worth breaking jst to have that moment.