Monday, August 07, 2006

No Race for Me

I planned to ride a 12-hour mountain bike race a couple of weekends ago at Mt. Kato in Mankato, MN. On the preceding Thursday while checking the tightness of the suspension pivot bolts on the bike, I snapped the head off of one of them. Yes, I have a torque wrench, but that didn't help.

I took the bolt to the local shop that sells this brand of bike and they didn't have the bolt in stock. I didn't expect them to anyway. There are far too many suspension components for a dealer to stock. They said they'd order it, but I know that will take weeks.

I could have ridden my wife's bike, but it needed many changes to make it 12-hour worthy. I gave up and rode a long ride on my road bike Saturday instead of the race.

I was only a little disappointed. I didn't feel like I wanted to participate in a whole-hearted kind of way. However, if the bolt hadn't broken, I would definitely have raced.

This situation has brought up a line of thinking I've been developing for a couple of years now. I don't like the idea of putting my bike on a car and driving to an event or special ride. I've been doing much less of it recently. I've taken to riding my ATB to the trail heads instead of driving a car there. I ride to the Minnesota River Bottoms trail head and Theodore Wirth Park. I need to try riding to Lebanon Hills and Salem Hills parks. All my road bike rides start at my garage. My daily rides go from the garage to work and back. So my off-road rides all start at my garage now also.

The great thing about bicycling is that I can enjoy it right out of my garage door without going to any exotic places (not that Mankato is exotic). I also have lots of really great places to ride in the Twin Cities and this area enjoys lots of cycling events. For example, this coming weekend there's an Alley Cat race and bike scavenger hunt right here in Minneapolis. The St. Paul Classic is coming up soon. This fall, we have a couple of cyclo cross races right here in the city. I have countless group rides to attend in this area. I could even do one or two off-road races each year without traveling by car.

I'm not trying to throw a guilt trip on those of you who carry your bikes to events, but I've decided to drive less and this is an outcome of that decision.

1 comment:

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