Saturday, April 27, 2013

F'n Bike

Friday was a furlough day for me.  I had wanted to get up early and go swim, but I'm still not sleeping well through the night.  I was up for at least 3 hours :-(  When the alarm went off at 4:15, it was a quick swipe across my phone to silence it and then back to sleep...oh well.

Mike had a meeting at work, so he left early.  I did some laundry and a bit of house work and decided to pop in my Spinervals "Hardcore 100".  I figured I would ride until Mike got home and then we would go have lunch or head down to the Asparagus Festival.

Mike got home earlier than expected.  I only got 2 hours into my 5-1/2 hour Spinervals workout.  Mike asked if I wanted to drive up to Angels Camp and check out the race course.  Of course I said "Yes!".  I found a Map My Tri map of the course, packed our wetsuits, and we headed out the door.

Angels Camp Practice Run

Correct boat ramp - still steep
Our first stop was at the wrong boat ramp, and I'm glad...it was long and very steep.  I checked my map and realized that we needed to be at the Angels Creek ramp.  After a short ride, we packed up the truck and moved to the correct location.  Unfortunately, this ramp was closed, so we were unable to park in the actual transition area and had to park down the road a ways.

We rode to the boat ramp so I could take a look. It didn't seem much better than the first ramp we stopped at. The water level is pretty low, and the surface of the ramp looks rough. I may put a pair of flip flops at the exit point to protect my feet on the way up.

We started on the ride, which actually took us back to the first boat ramp. There were a few short hills that weren't too bad. There was one hill required a little extra effort. When I stood up to pedal, my back brake grabbed!  With every revolution of the wheel it was Erk! Erk! Erk! Erk!  OMG!!!  It freaked me out a bit and made trying to get up that small hill quite challenging.

As we came back to the Angels Creek access road, I looked up ahead and saw a huge hill...which clearly did not fit into the category of a "rolling hill". This thing seemed to climb forever.  After the incident with my rear brakes on the shorter hill, I was wary of trying to climb this hill.  Mike took off without me, which pissed me off, so I stood there for a while expecting him to come back down. When he didn't turn around, I started walking my bike up the hill. Screw it! I don't care what anyone thinks! (James would have been sooooo disappointed LOL).

This is NOT a "rolling hill"
I was seriously mad at this point. Mad at Mike for leaving me behind. Mad at my bike. Mad that I signed up for a race at this location. As I pissed and moaned my way up the hill I wondered how mad Mike would be at me if I chucked my bike over the side.  Argh!

The road leveled off briefly and I knew I would never catch up to Mike by walking. I climbed back on my bike, opened the rear brake release all the way, and started pedaling up the hill. Erk! Erk! Erk! Erk!  The brake was still grabbing. I finally broke down and started crying.  Mike had circled back by now and I told him I wasn't going to try and ride the bike like this the rest of the way up the hill.

I closed the release on both the front and rear brakes (the front wheel is a different story) and screeched my way back down the hill. I fully expected my wheels to catch fire or at least start smoking :-) Of course, at the bottom of this hill you have to make a right turn to head back to transition. I survived the turn, probably because I was going so slowly down the hill and I thanked God for the straight flat road back to the truck.

Rolling hills? I don't think so! by tpengilly at Garmin Connect - Details  (shorter than actual race route because I turned around)

My Pit Crew

Not just a pretty face
After we got back to the truck, Mike checked my bike and found that the rear wheel was loose. When we got back to Stockton, he made a call to his son to see if we could borrow his lockring removal tool (or whatever it is called).  I mentioned that it would be helpful if we had a bike stand.  He agreed, so we made a pit stop at Performance and got a bike stand and a complete bike tool kit.

After Mike removed the wheel, he immediately found the problem (didn't even have to remove the cassette).  He tightened things up and put the rear wheel back.  Problem solved!

Back to Angels Camp

Next week some of our tri group is planning on heading back up to Angels Camp.  I will climb that hill! We will also be bringing the bike tools with us just in case there needs to be some adjustments made.  Oh, and I will NOT be riding on the trainer for 2 hours before attempting this again :-)

I will also be getting in the water.  We packed our wetsuits for our trip, but forgot to pack our goggles.  Actually, after the crap with the bike, I was in no mood to swim.  It was probably for the best that we called it a day and headed home.

While I really would like to ride my road bike in the race, I found that my TT bike has better gearing for hills.  Besides, Barb's Race is supposed to have "rolling hills" (uh oh) and I will also have to climb Chalk Hill during the race.  The Angels Camp hill is going to be my training ground for now ;-)