Yesterday went pretty well right until I got to the course and started pre-riding. We got up to Madison in less than an hour from Delavan, checked into the hotel early, got dressed and rode over to the course.
I was mildly surprised that the course was completely ridable, even though it was above freezing. I ran into Jared Nieters when I got there and he said had done 6 laps on his single speed and it was good. And it was. No matter what happens, I don’t think that the ground is going to thaw. I don’t think that it could possibly turn into the quagmire it became last year before it froze. That being said, it is going to get a lot slicker. There is still a fair amount of snow on the course and I think that is going to be completely gone in the next couple days. So, it’s going to be slick mud on top of frozen tundra. That isn’t a bad base for a cross course. That is until Sunday, when it is supposed to freeze super hard Saturday night and then not get above 22 degrees all day. Then it becomes a skating rink. Probably with ruts. But, you never know, it is weather, which is fickle, and cross, which is the same.
I fell pretty hard on one of the descents about a 1/2 lap into riding. I whacked my left knee onto my bars and tweeked myself in a few other places. I rode 6 laps total, mainly to get used to the bike handling, but also to get a workout. I got a lot better handling my bike on in the rutted snow, but I don’t think I’m going to be dealing with any of that later this week.
I got back to the hotel and noticed that my dropout was bent. I was in a mild panic because I knew that they are very brittle and didn’t remember if I had another dropout with me. I did bring an extra, so I decided to try to straighten mine. That lasted about 5 seconds because it snapped off nearly as I screwed the tool into the threads. The problem was there are super small allen key bolts, maybe 2.5mm or such, and they strip so easily. I got one out, but the other stripped. I don’t have a Dremel tool or drill with me, so I just grabbed the dropout with some vice-grips and got a gap behind it and inserted a screw driver. Then I snapped it off. So, minor disaster averted.
By the time I was done messing with my bike, my left knee was all swollen up and I couldn’t bend it. I got a bag of ice and put it on for 20 minutes. I limped around the rest of the night. Then, after dinner, I made some Zen tea and right after I’d poured the boiling water into the cup, I sat down and spilled the complete cup into my lap. Man, was there some excitement there. I don’t think I am like that old woman at McDonalds, a long while ago, but there is some damage to my inner thighs. We’ll see how that progresses. Right now it is better than I would have guessed. But, my knee isn’t any better this morning. More ice I guess.
So, hopefully I got all my klutzy stuff for the rest of the week over yesterday. I’m going over to the course again today and maybe just riding a couple laps. The single speed race is later in the afternoon, so I’ll probably head over there then to ride and then watch the races some. It’s a good course for a single speed under these conditions.
Okay, here are some pictures of the course from yesterday afternoon.