a lesson on odometer malfunction…

15 09 2009

i woke up hungover, as i normally do before riding long distances. but this time, it was a real humdinger. i was sleeping on justin’s futon, and briefly searched for my phone. when i found it, i realized that i had 40 minutes until the race.

this meant that i wouldn’t be able to borrow a bike. i called jeromy and told him that i would meet him downtown, and a bagel and espresso later, i was at the bike church signing in to race a cyclocross event with my track bike.

from joshua of california

this pic is from the finish line. notice the distinct characteristics of each bike, knobby tires, rear brakes, knobby tires, etc. i also want to point out that the teal bike in the middle of pic is made out of scandium. i’m not sure if it made its owner faster, but i hear he dominated everyone.

even though i saw mr. scandium flying by us in the opposite direction as we approached the third checkpoint, i still felt good about my chances in placing top ten. after nearly rolling over my bars a few times on some gravel descents (gives whipskidding a whole new meaning), we reached a nice section of road and i was finally able to find a rhythm with my pace.

we were coming off a nice climbing section when i noticed my odometer had stopped working. i must have been doing at least 25, so i leaned over to look briefly at the wire. i looked back up, and all i saw was jeromy, sideways across the lane, slowing to make a left turn. he was less than three feet in front of me.  i yelled “shit,” locked my rear tire, grabbed my front brake, and smacked shoulder first into jeromy at 20 mph.

in an instant, we were both on the ground. he was pulling over to the left side of the road for a checkpoint, so a half dozen people were instantly around us, helping us off the road. jeromy asked if i was ok, and i replied yes. the real answer was that i felt like a shithead. despite a bit of rash, jeromy was ok, too.

we checked out bikes, and then high-fived each other once we realized everything was fine. we also spent the rest of the day laughing about the story. we walked through sand trails, nearly fell off of train trestles, and ascended hills so steep we had to occasionally chill out before slinging bikes back onto our shoulders, and we fucking laughed our asses off the whole damned time.

i finished 26 and jeromy finished 25. or the other way around, i don’t really remember, nor do i care. what i do know is that there was a keg of porter, a ton of food, and eventually a bottle of jameson that we all passed around at the finish line. when jeromy found out it was a yearly event, his response summed up my feelings as well.

“once a year? why can’t we get together and do this shit every weekend?”

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