Frequent followers may have noted that we have been slacking on the blog lately- and, so, we have. In our defense, we have had a rocky summer here at AYC (on many fronts, but for now we will keep it to the bicycle front)
Summer 2010 has brought a record number of full scale, high speed wipe outs on the road and the trail. Kits have been shredded, derailleurs bent, helmets broken and flesh flayed. Races have been missed due to injury and forgotten gear, others raced with borrowed equipment. There have been BONKs due to poor planning and flats without sufficient tubage.
We ride a lot- a whole lot- so to some degree this is to be expected. On the other hand, we have had such tremendous luck for so long I think we may have grown a little complacent.
A few things we at Abandon Your Car have recommitted to:
- hydration. We nearly lost Brother John to the desert last week because he is such a strong athlete and excellent sufferer we did not realize he was completely BONKED and dehydrated on our 3 hour desert power ride (only later did he inform us he had not peed in 24 hours). After regaining his senses, John visited the good people at SingleTracks (our LBS with folks who care how your ride goes) who dialed him in with some 60oz Camelback goodness and we re-adopted the discipline of a full electrolyte bottle before and after any ride over an hour. New rule is that we really, really, really encourage all our visiting riders to hydrate with a vengeance and we insist they pee at least a few times a day... (we previously just really, really encouraged them)
note how refreshed John appears on this second ride of the day, thanks to his smart new personal hydration pack. Momentarily he will find a tree to pee behind- an excellent sign!
-top off the Stan's. Until this summer I had never had the great dispeasure of witnessing the rapid deceleration that comes with a fullspeed front flat. Just weeks after that front seat horror show I got to feel the agony myself (like I said, it's been a rocky summer). Longstory short- we both knew we were losing tire pressure in the days previous and had we juiced up, a whole lot of cussing, blood letting and expensive bike damage may have been avoided. Our new rule is any tire requiring a pump up twice in 2 days, gets a syringe of Stan's or doesn't go out.
This summer has been a bit of a power struggle with gravity and gravity ALWAYS wins when the wheels don't roll...and, comrade, the wheels don't roll when there ain't no Stan's. OUCH!
-tubes, tubes, tubes all around. What the heck is up with this epidemic of flats we are suffering? Add to that malfunctioning quickfills and random mechanical meltdowns and things have gotten down right eery. We race out the door for quick rides all the time- grab a single water bottle and leave the packs behind with the repair kit, multi-tool, special single speed back wheel allen wrench- you get the idea. Usually we get away with it.
Our in-house mechanic services our rigs religiously and we always, but always, ride in the singletrack and out of the goatheads, raise up and avoid pinch flats- always. Anywho- good thing Dave never minds riding miles of single track on a flat tire (regardless of whose bike its on)! New rule- everyone on the ride carries at least one tube in the appropriate size and we always have a pump, chain tool, multi-tool, replacement link and zip-tie in the posse. And how about a patch kit, eh? We only have a gross sitting in a box in the garage. (about as useful there as birth control sitting at the end of the bed - to borrow an analogy from the ever witty Brother John)
Here our friends are captured on the cellphone fixing the first flat of the day as the glorious window of morning cool slips away (and they have no idea of the flats yet to be)!
-get your s**t together. Dave rode for weeks without any gloves this summer after he left one up in Oak Creek. I forgot my helmet at my first (and only) Wednesday Night Worlds of the season (fortunately Danny had a great red mushroom to lend me) - my very next race I DNS'd (did not start) thanks to leaving my shoes at home (where were you then Danny?). A long time ago we implemented our system of keeping all your own gear in one contained unit, but this year we have had to add the new rule that everyone carry their own gear bag out to the car and submit to a collective gear check in the driveway.
hey there mushrom head, good thing someone had your back or there'd be no race for you. Get your S**t together- cause the season ain't over yet!
As you can see we have had many opportunities to think about being prepared for anything and plenty of opportunity to rally when preparation was a tad slack and things went awry. All in all we have been very fortunate with many hundreds of miles of epic riding this summer, only one ER visit, no one left behind to wander the desert and a bunch of good races rid (rode? ridden?).
The season isn't anywhere near over and we hope with a little more attention to detail we will really get our game on and Dave will have great showing at the Steamboat Stage Race over Labor Day Weekend, we can throw a few points into the LiveTrainRace kitty at the Breckenridge Fall Classic the next weekend and clock a heap'o miles in the great fall colors.