Transplant Athlete
Monday, January 02, 2006
  Lou's Excellent Adventure

I joined a bunch of DC Randonneurs for a New Year's day century starting from Hains Point and winding its way south along the Potomac on the Mt Vernon Trail. The weather was great and there was good visibility. We then worked our way down to Occoquan and the lunch stop. I arrived with the group at the lunch stop, but I wanted to keep moving. About a mile past lunch, I snapped a spoke. This was the first spoke I've snapped in 5 years of Ultras. So, I worked my way back to the lunch stop and borrowed a spoke wrench.

I was in a hurry and wasn't methodical about adjusting the spokes, so after about 20 minutes of futzing around. I got serious, sat down on a bench and started methodically adjusting the spokes. By the time the group finished their lunch, I was just finishing up. I rode off with the group and about 5 miles later, I shifted into my largest cog to climb a hill and my derailleur imploded. I'm guessing that my wheel wasn't dished properly with the missing spoke and that when I shifted into the largest cog the wheel ate my derailleur. That was an expensive lesson, Campy derailleurs cost $280.

Chuck Wood turned the bike into a single speed while I called for a SAG and then I removed the remnants of my derailleur. I set up a rendesvous with my SAG about 12 miles away. First of all, I thought it was closer, like 6 or 8 miles away. Second, I thought the single speed would work, but I got about a half mile away and the chain jumped to the next largest cog and locked up. It took me about 5 minutes to get the wheel off enough to move the chain back down to a smaller cog. I got a little ways further down the road when it happened again, only I inadvertently back pedaled and the chain went back down. I was able to use a see-saw pedaling motion to go a little further down the road, but it started jumping easier and easier. I ended up going about 5 miles on my Chuck Wood single speed before the chain hopped up to a larger cog and then snapped. I then went another 3 miles standing on the pedal and kicking off with my other foot. A friendly rider went ahead, found my wife, and asked her to drive down Rte 123 to meet me. When she got to me I was about 4 miles from where we were supposed to meet. It took me nearly two hours to go those last 8 miles.

I hope that isn't an omen for what 2006 is going to bring me cycling-wise.


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Best of luck with 2006 training and RAAM! Are you doing Sebring again this year? If so.....I'll see you there.
I've never had luck with the single speed fix for a busted derailleuer. Broke 2 rear der hangers last year (on MTBs), one just last week.
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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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