Training plans are great, but sometimes you just have to throw them out the window. I’ve been putting in longer miles for The Catskill Century in August. I decided to trade duration for intensity last weekend and headed out for a group ride chock full of stiff climbs.
It was hot as we rolled out early. Right off the bat, there were two mechanics spaced apart in the first hour. It was stop and start and my legs began to stiffen up. As the temperature soared, I could also feel a new saddle sore forming under my ill-fitting saddle. I was shifting around on the saddle, unable to find a comfortable spot. I climbed with stiff legs that kept whispering to me, “hey, let’s pedal home, I’m tired.” For once, I should have listened.
The bike Gods were not watching over us and the fantastic climbing ride suddenly went downhill…fast. One minute I was soaking in the peaceful sounds of summer in the country. Then they were sharply interrupted by a loud scraping sound. I looked down at my bike, checking the rear brakes….they weren’t rubbing…maybe the bottom bracket? The grinding continued until my husband smartly pulled the rear wheel only to discover that one of the screws holding the derailer hanger was already out and the second one was well on its way to popping out. The metal had scraped away at the cassette, shearing off a thin strip.
To make matters worse, the night before I had removed my large multi-tool. That’s right, the one I never ever use. My inner weight weenie got the best of me and the right tool for the job was sitting at home on the kitchen counter. We were in the middle of nowhere, but fortunately we found a country club just up the road. After trying to flag down a passing police car to no avail, I walked in my road shoes to the country club and they were fortunate enough to give my husband their toolbox, where he couldn’t find the right tool, but was able to get the screws back in temporarily.
At that point, my legs won out and we decided to call it a day and roll home with just 30 miles on the computer. Some weeks are just like that.
On the plus side, I’m getting closer to finding the perfect saddle. More on that soon, including tips on saddle shopping. Stay tuned!