Thursday, October 28, 2010


A windmill style of anemometerImage via Wikipedia
By: Brent

After buying a bike, no matter the price, you have a constant urge to ride. If you paid $7.50 at a garage sale for a 1984 Huffy, you bought it with the intention of riding it.

After the purchases of Jeff's and my bikes, we have been lucky enough to meet other cyclist through local group rides. We joined 2 different shops, the Spin Zone crew in Granger where we got our bikes on Thursday's, and All About Cycling in Elkhart on Wednesday's. Due to work, family, and logistics, the Wednesday ride is a lot easier to get to. We have joined them a number of times now and have always had a great time. With a group ride a couple things happen.

1) You get to ride and talk about riding with other people who ride and like to talk about riding.
2) You get to wear Lycra amongst others who will wear Lycra, and not have to hear, "Hey, you're wearing Spandex!!!"
3) Clears your mind. Stress relief. Helps let it all go.
and as the Middlebury P.I.G.S. tell me
4) We ride so we can drink beer.

Wednesday was to be the last outdoor group ride of the year. Problem was, Northern Indiana has been laid on its side with high winds. There has been one tornado, and 30 mph winds have been pretty standard. AAC (All About Cycling) decided we would just ride indoors on trainers, but of the normal 8-10 riders, I was the only one to show up. So Steve (owner of AAC) and I decided, what the heck, lets go for it and tackle the wind.
We set off into the wind as much as possible heading 6 miles south east. It seemed to be a crosswind of maybe 10-15 and we averaged about 19 mph. All in all, it felt pretty good. I can't say at this point there were any concerns. We crossed the tracks and I expressed my want to go down to CR 28 and climb what I refer to as "Hall's Hill" (my group of friends know the guy at the base of the hill (Mr. Hall, hence....) This is the most significant climb anywhere close to this route so I really wanted to hit it. Well as we set down the one mile road of CR 15 I thought, huh, this is a bit windier than that last stretch, then we made the turn down CR28. I believe "OMG" says it best. First we tackle Hall's Hill were by the end of it, I was struggling to stay above 10mph, then to get to the flat and deal with what must have been an F4 tornado coming across the road. For 3 miles we got smacked across the face by what Steve declared "The second windiest ride he had ever been on." Mind you at any point Steve could have dropped me and left me for dead, but he stuck with me and we toughed it together. Then the greatness began, WE TURNED. Within an instant, 22 mph was no issue. You don't even notice the wind. When you have it in your back, you forget all about it and tack it up to your own personal greatness. "Wind? What wind?" Then, about 6 miles from the shop, I felt this tiny piercing in my right calf. "Odd. I wonder what that crazy feeling in my leggggggggg!!!!!!" Charlie horses are the work of the Devil. I knew then, I was done for. But (what I felt was a relatively quick healing process) for about 90 seconds, I got my leg extended, stretched and kept pedaling. My biggest concern at this point was the daylight. It was vanishing quickly. We do ride with tail lights, but still, darkness is darkness. My concerns of finishing were growing greater. Luckily, by starting into the wind I know that we have the luxury of being pushed the rest of the way back so I didn't mention how close we were to my house so I wouldn't get dropped off. Really, the last 6 miles, post Charlie, were pretty uneventful. We did have to wait on the end of a train but again, there is not a lot of story there.
Upon return to the shop Steve took my bike in and discovered what I thought was a bad pedal, was actually a bad bearing on my BB30 bottom bracket. Now I get to call Sarah at Spin Zone and ask her again, "Why BB30?". I asked this question when shopping for the bike, where she told me, "Because it's the best." Hmmmm.....
Next week.....TRAINERS!!!!!
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