A little Hurt on Christmas Eve/ They Came to their Senses on Master’s Cyclocross Worlds Start Postiions

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Yesterday was another long day and I didn’t spend a second on a bike, which is a drag. It’s a 600 mile drive to Chicago from Topeka. I had to make a detour to Wonder Lake to pick up a hot water heater I’d purchased. It was a lot of driving on small road near the Wisconsin border at night. The best aspect of the drive was doing a lap around the town center of Woodstock, Il. It is the main square that the movie Groundhog Day used. It’s one of my favorite movies/films of all times.)You might not think it is a film, but watch it a few times and you might change your mind.) It was a super quaint downtown, all lit up and pretty. I’m so glad I got to be there in person during the holidays.

Anyway, I got the water heater alright, the guy was super nice. I had gotten this email in the morning from a guy that reads this blog, that lives in Crystal Lake, a small town just south of Wonder Lake. He wanted know if we wanted to stop and have a beer with him on the way down to Chicago. I don’t usually just meet up with strangers, but I thought, why not? We hadn’t eaten and it was going to be getting sort of late for that. We met up with these two guys, Mike and Cliff at Duke’s in downtown Crystal Lake at 8 pm.

Dukes was super. A cool building, plus a super selection of beer, and good food. Cliff showed up first with his wife, then Mike a little later. I thought we’d be there for an hour. We didn’t leave until way after 11, and we left then mainly because the place was so packed with people that we couldn’t communicate anymore.

These guys were great. That is one of the best things I like about the sport, the friendships it brings. These guys were true friends. And they were passionate about cycling. Mike is a natural athlete that got into the sport late. Last year was his “big mileage” year with nearly 1500. I told him that he would be amazed how much better he could ride if he just doubled that number, or tripled, quadrupled it. Cliff had been riding more. He rides Chequamegon in around 2:40, which is pretty respectable. Really respectable. He has been doing P90X this winter with his wife and has lost 20 lbs. What’s up with this P90X thing? Anyway, their enthusiasm for the sport was refreshing. I’m pretty enthusiastic about cycling and these guys made me seem calm. I’m so glad I stopped and got to meet up with them. I’m sure I’ll be seeing them around now that we know each other.

The only downside about last night was that I’m kind of hurt from the whole ordeal. I only had 3 beers, but it feels like I drank 3X that. Plus, my throat is toast from talking through the loud music. I can barely swallow. Hopefully that will clear up quickly.

My van has been running pretty shitty since I left to go to Texas. I tried a bunch of different things, but it was still missing on the high end and idling. I got it back to Topeka to my diesel wizard mechanic that has a scan tool (not OBD2 scanner) and he told me that 3 injectors are not functioning properly. The injectors are $300 each, plus $800 to drop the engine to get to the valve covers and the injectors. He re-programed the computer and it idled and ran in town a bunch better. But I had the van “chipped” with a Diablo Sport product that brought the horse power up 60. I don’t care so much for the extra power, but according to the Diablo guys, that is the best tune for fuel economy. And it did bring the mpg up to around 20 most of the time. But, when my guy re-programed it, my program was lost. And maybe lost for good. I’ve tried to call the Diablo guys and see if they will send me the program to reinstall. The end result is the van feels pretty gutless on the highway. I’ll been driving up so long with power that the normal setting, minus the loss of power from the injectors, is not good. I’ve been looking into dumping some of that stuff into the gas that supposedly cleans up dirty diesel injectors. My mechanic told me it is a waste, but I’m not sure after reading some of the testimonials at the websites. But, they are testimonials posted at the websites. Anyone out there have any personal experience with the injector cleaner stuff?

I got an email from the Master’s Worlds stating that they were going to be doing qualifying races for any field that has over 40 riders in it. What a relief. I really thought the start procedure was set in stone and that it was going to be super unfair. All the categories were going to be around 70-80 guys and then random call ups would have been a nightmare. Now it is going to be short 40 rider races for start positions. Not optimal, but more fair for sure. I have to give Joan Hanscom, Bruce Fina and everyone else involved from the organizing committee a lot of credit for addressing this so late in the game.

I just got a call from Ben Raby, a friend of mine, that I raced with forever and he’s now a SRAM road marketing guy. I’m going to meet him out in St. Charles, a suburb to the West for a few hour ride. That should be super fun. Then some last minute shopping. The suburbs outside Chicago on Christmas Eve are something that everyone should experience at least once in their life. It is hectic and surreal. Okay, hope everyone can fit in a ride today.

Cliff, me and Mike at Dukes.

Bromont and I taking a rest on the drive.

Picture of the back of my van this morning.

It seems like all the power plants I drove by were really producing power yesterday.

8 thoughts on “A little Hurt on Christmas Eve/ They Came to their Senses on Master’s Cyclocross Worlds Start Postiions

  1. Jim

    So I’m in a densely-packed neighborhood and a guy is tearing around, back and forth. I yell at him to slow down, he ignores me. He’s wearing a blue shirt with his name on it. Tears around another time, I shrug. He yells, “clogged injectors!” Blue smoke, the engine is missing, etc. A couple more passes, it’s running much smoother. I yell, “does it work?” He goes, “yup.” Wasn’t a diesel. That’s all I got.

  2. channel_zero

    The anecdote I heard about injector cleaners is you have to use the whole tank of fuel in one go.

    No sticking it in and driving to the store and expecting it to work over a week of occasional driving.

    I doubled injector cleaner on an old conventional fuel beast I had once upon a time. I thought it helped. Ran weird for that tank of gas though…

  3. channel_zero

    We’re all familiar with the benefits of maintaining ‘the devil you know’ but at some point maintenance gets expensive vs. just replacing the car.

  4. kansbiker

    +1 on Groundhog Day, one of my favorite movies, I’ve seen it on several of the best 100 movies of all time list and on several top 10 american comedies/movies of all time list. It’s considered a classic and a great movie. I will watch it over and over.
    Bill Murray is the greatest, google him sometime and read about him, he turns up crazy places and hangs out with people and has a good time, takes movie roles for fun. seems like an awesome guy to hang with.

  5. Rich

    I’m a truck mechanic and I have used Seafoam with good success. You can get it at NAPA. Less than $10. I usually put 1 can in a clean fuel filter and 1 in the tank. That said bad injectors don’t usually get better with cleaner. But if its minor it may help.

  6. poyntell

    What’s up with P90X? Has an addicted user, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s 100% hypnosis or sublimnal messages. I always feels so “up” after I do an hour of it. It’s not right!

  7. Cliff

    Hey Steve, you explained the way I felt the next morning to a tee!!!

    First, thank you for a great night that Mike and myself really enjoyed, going down as a highlight in our cycling experience. ONE of the things Im taking away from our night is the enthusiasm Steve still has about his sport without a touch of slowing down. Totally addicting and inspiring!
    Im already serching ebay to replace my 2004 road bike!

    Thanks for the inspiration, Steve, great meeting you!


  8. Mike

    Thanks so much for taking time out to hang out with Cliff and I for a few hours Friday night. It meant a bunch to both of us. Look out next September, maybe I’ll be hanging on to your wheel going into Rosie’s Field! I wish…


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