Oh Man, the Weekend

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This week went pretty well so far.  The only problem is that I’m pretty beat.  I did take a day off the bike, Tuesday, which isn’t normal for me.  But I’ve been doing pretty hard manual labor for 6-8 hours a day, then jumping on my bike and training pretty hard, so I’ve been almost too tired to sleep.

Today I woke and just would have just liked to stay in bed.  I hate being exhausted for race weekends.  But no, I’m driving to Tulsa in a couple hours to race cyclocross down there tomorrow and Sunday, if I choose.  Right now, I’m only committing to Saturday, but I hate passing up on a 2nd race day.  Just depends how I feel after tomorrow.

I can’t seem to convince anyone else to go down with me today.  Joseph is driving down tomorrow.  Catherine is flying in from Seattle late this afternoon and says she is going to drive down in the morning, but I’d give that less than a 50% chance.  Her work weeks are as strenuous mentally as mine was physically.   She quit her job there and getting her old Topeka job back at the end of the year, so lots of ends to tie up and personality issues.

Yesterday was clearing brush for a few hours when I looked at my phone and there was a text from Joseph saying he was riding towards Topeka on gravel.  It was 30 minutes old.  I texted him back I was cleaning up and jumping on my bike.  It is a strange thing when you are dragging mentally, and physically, then all of a sudden, when something that comes up that you want to do, your mind and body are instantly in a better place and you rally. I wonder what the human body is doing to switch speeds so quickly?

A cold front came through the midwest and it dropped down below freezing last night.  The high tomorrow in Tulsa is supposed to be in the mid 40’s.  I’ve raced down there this time of the year and it was in the 90’s.  40 over 90 anytime for cyclocross.

I’m taking my computer to the Apple Store in Tulsa tonight to get it looked at.  I think there is a recall on the video card, so they are going to have to ship it somewhere to fix it, but we’ll see. Posting here has been a drag this past week.

Okay, I should go out and see how my tire gluing did last night.  I bought a bunch of Vittoria cross tires and they are hugely defective.  They blow out at the valve stem by just pumping them up.  I found this out after gluing two on.  So far, 3 out of 4 have catastrophically failed at the valve stem.  I can’t believe they would even put these things on the market.  I bought them from Steep and Cheap, which is Backcountry out of Utah.  Too good to be true. So, don’t buy these.   We’ll see how the return goes.

I have a bunch of good tires, FMB’s etc., but am saving them for later in the season when I’m a little better and more serious.  Right now I’m just paying my dues.  Plus, racing cross in Oklahoma has been a recipe for flatting.  I can’t count how many great tires I’ve flatted racing there.  Mainly on goatheads.  I sure hope that isn’t an issue tomorrow.  Most the guys down there run tubeless tires with sealant.  I don’t have any that aren’t clincher.  I’m taking those just in case.

Okay, I need to unhook the trailer, clean out the tools and reload it for bike racing.  It is around 30 and super windy.  Seems like fall/winter came in instantly.  Yesterday I rode in short.  Kansas weather.

I get a lot in before I head to the vegetation dump.

I get a lot in before I head to the vegetation dump.

This trailer is great.

This trailer is great.

Yesterday riding on the River Road.

Yesterday riding on the River Road.

I got back after dark.  It was fine, no one drives there.

I got back after dark. It was fine, no one drives there.

17 thoughts on “Oh Man, the Weekend

  1. Scott W

    Be sure to check out the red bull disco drome tonight in Tulsa. That’s those really small track races

  2. Mark Thomas

    Steve, the RVC valve on these tires threads into the tube at the base…is it possible you didn’t have them threaded on tight? It’s a funky system, that might make you think they’re ‘blowing out’, but they’re actually just leaking.

  3. Tileman

    Hey Steve,

    I had the same problem with 3 XM Tubulars that I got from a couple of different places. The last one I got from Competitive Cyclist and they took it back for a store credit. I have had good luck and have raced quite a few races with the XG and an older XM. The XM on the back did great at Louisville. I unsewed one to inspect it. It is not where the removable valvestem screws onto the stub. The problem is where the stub connects to the latex tube. I wrote to Vittoria and their tires are warranted. This was their response:

    Thanks for writing us and for your support.

    We are deeply sorry to read this but unfortunately we do not always produce perfect goods even if that’s the actual goal; it could be an unfortunate batch.

    If you think that there could be a production fault involved on your tire, feel free to double-check the tire with your retailer. Our goods are guaranteed for 2 years after the date of purchase. If it’s the case, your retailer can then go into details with his Vittoria reference and check if a replacement is available.

    In the end, what matters is to enjoy your rides.
    Have a good day.

    Customer Response

  4. Wildcat

    I was looking for the usual Mike Crum comment on a post like this – “Isn’t your whole life one long weekend?”. Lol

  5. Tanner

    Same problem with two of those tires. Bummer is it takes about 30min of gluing and mounting before you realize it was all a waste. Such a bummer.

    1. Todd

      Wow – only 30 mins to glue and mount a CX tubular…? Point taken about finding a defect after gluing up the tire, but that’s really quick work.

      Even with the Belgian tape method (3 successive layers of glue on rim and base-tape laid down without any dry time followed by a layer of tape on the rim) it takes me about 75-90 mins per wheel end-to-end.

      Admittedly, I’m fastidious about this process after rolling a front tire to near disastrous effect (2 bulging discs vs herniation or a spinal fracture). The tubular blew out on a fast downhill when I hit a jagged stub of chain link fence post hidden below the grass and rolled when I hit the turn at the bottom with no time to shed speed. The tire caught on the rim brakes and brought my bike to an instantaneous stop whereupon I augured face-first into the uphill transition.

      In a Tilly-esque moment, I finished the race, took a week off, and raced through the end of the season before getting fully checked out and starting physical therapy. Not taking any chances with this reoccurring though…

    1. Krakatoa East of Java

      Mount them on a dry rim. Inflate. Let sit. Confirm that they hold air. Unmount. Glue. Remount.

  6. Todd

    I had the same issue with the older grey Vittoria tubulars a few years ago and this has me thinking that Vittoria tubulars may have a “shelf life” of 2-3 years. On the tires I purchased, they all popped at the valve and it seemed like the tube inside had somehow fused together during storage. Had no problem doing an exchange which was good.

  7. Catherine walberg

    Great photos! Well, with the challenge of 50% and the promise of : Heck yeah! http://hurtlandusa.com/tulsatoughdiscodrome/ Going to be foolish fun!—-I can’t possibly not drive down regardless of mental or physical state. This will be fun and figuring out a course during a race is always worth it! Catherine


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