All this over a new bike??

So the time has come…an opportunity for a new road bike.  I’m fairly limited to what kind to get, how much to spend and my deadline for decisions.  Luckily, a few of the bikes I really like fall under all the restrictions.  Unfortunately, I spent a good part of my afternoon in the shop oogling over various catalogs and comparing specs.  My brain was experiencing serious information overload…

This is what brain overload resembles…
What if the payments are too much?  What if the bike isn’t the right size?  Can I get a better frame somewhere else?  Do I really need Di2?  Do I really need carbon?  Should I just wait until next year?  What if, what if, what if?
 
You’d think I was making some big life decision…like “should we have a baby?”
 
Which got me thinking…am I ever gonna have a baby?
 
Sheesh.  Can’t we just focus on the bike right now?
 
But, seriously…
Everyday on facebook, I see the baby bumps of all my friends across the globe.  Don’t get me wrong…I’m not a hater.  It just makes me wonder if I’m headed down the same path.  If I am, I guess I should be moving my feet a little faster because this cougar ain’t gettin’ any younger.  A bigger issue would have to be…well…the other part of the equation that helps create the baby.  I mean, I can’t even find someone I can stand for 5 minutes, so who am I gonna have a baby with?  Hahahah.  Makes me laugh. 
 
I’ve said it all before and I’ll say it again.  I’m not who I was a decade ago.  Hell, I’m not who I was 5 years ago.  My focus was always on the opposite sex and why they didn’t want to go out with me.  My failed relationships were pretty haggard (yeah I said haggard) and I always felt discouraged.  I spent a great deal of my life being bummed out and lonely, or so I thought.  I had plenty of great friends surrounding me, but I always thought I needed a man.
 
 
Ladies, let me be the first to tell ya…you DON’T need a man.  Something snapped inside my little pea brain within the last year…something BIG.  I’m single and don’t really care to mingle.  In fact, there isn’t anyone in the Tri-Cities that I would cut out a Wed Night Ride for.  True dat.  When I find a guy that makes me want to skip a bike ride, I’ll let you know all about him.  Until then, I’ll keep doing my thang just the way I want to. 
 
 
 
Yes, things get boring and lonely at times, but you adjust to that.  I’ve recently been asked out a few times and I’ve declined because I’m “just not that into you”.  I’m way more into my own world right now.  Is that selfish?  Yes, but I spent most of my life trying to please others without giving myself a second thought.  Does this make having children difficult?  Yes.  I don’t really have a better answer for that one…
 
My point tonight?  Not sure.  I just felt moved to preach the gospel to you ladies out there.  Men too.  Don’t settle for someone just because you are lonely or bored or because you think you’re too old to be single.  Do what you want…live how you want…ride your bike when you want.  All that other noise is bullshit. 
 
Maybe pulling the trigger on a new bike isn’t that difficult after all??
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Beers and bikes and demolition…oh my! (Megan’s first Interbike)



 
After my first (BRUTAL) endurance race, I came home to a freshly made bed and tried to rest up for my flight to Vegas.  My legs and rear end had other plans…they kept me awake.  There wasn’t any good position to sleep in after climbing 10,000 feet on a cross bike in 7.5 hours.  And while I was second to last in the female division, my legs didn’t know the difference.  I finally gave up around 3:45 and decided to make a pot of coffee.  Let’s get ready to rumble!
 
I met up with Trevor and Chapman at the airport and they immediately made fun of the way I was dressed.  “If I had known you were such a girly girl, I would have made you stay at home.”  Of course, they were joking…few people have seen the other side of Megan.  My closet full of cuteness demanded to be worn.  I listened.  I’m a 31 year-old, single and tom boyish chick.  What do you expect me to wear on a trip to Vegas?  And yes…I had make-up on too!
 
We love beer.
 
The waiting and sitting was making my already sore legs, well, sore.  I was super ready to land in the city that never sleeps.  Once we landed, we grabbed our bags and waited in the SUPER long line to catch a cab.  It was hot as hell.  I forgot about that…but at least there was no humidity.  She is my arch nemesis…humidity makes me want to break stuff.  Anyway, we made it to the hotel and shimmied our way up to our room.  It was time to check out the strip…
 
 
 
As we made our way to the Interbike registration, we noticed all kinds of interesting people.  Drunk bums, drunk college girls, drunk old people and drunk drunks.  It was like walking into a Walmart with an open bar.  Once we took care of business, we decided it was beer thirty. 
 
I’ll just skip to the next day because of two reasons… 1) I can’t be 100% I’m giving correct information due to the number of adult beverages I consumed and 2) No one wants to hear about awesome cover bands and gangster rap…other than myself.  And besides, we were in bed by 9:30 if that tells you ANYTHING.  I did get to dance…a lot.  Which is more than I could ask for 🙂
 
 
 
Monday was first day of Outdoor Demo.  Bootleg Canyon was always a destination for my downhill buddies when I lived in Mammoth Lakes.  I never made the trip but had always heard them gushing about it.  It was a hot day in the desert and there were TONS of companies reppin’ their stuff.  Beers, food, music and lots of bikes.  Once we hopped off the bus, I realized how beneficial an IV setup would have been.  Meggie needed hydration in a bad way…apply rule #5 here and let’s play on some bikes.
 
Mmmmm…Giant
 
First bike I rode was a Giant W’s Anthem 29er.  Let me tell you something….IT WAS SIIIIICK!  It felt like a cloud and I felt like an angel riding it across the technical sections.  It was like watching a movie in slow motion…smoooooooth.  I got excited after clearing a sketchy section and decided I was going to increase my pedal strokes just a tad.  Time to get this lady movin’!
 
I got her movin’ alright.
 
I came around a small berm and the world stopped immediately.  I’m pretty sure I washed out…when I did, I flew over the handlebars and my left leg slammed into the stem.  I did a few rolls and instantly stood up.  I landed on my chest and couldn’t catch my breath.  I was trying to laugh my way into a happy place when Chapman pulled up. 
 
“Dude, did you crash?”
No, dipshit, I’m just covered in dirt and my handlebars are turned all the way around.
“Dude, look at your leg”
 
As I looked down I noticed an immediate and very large hematoma.  I noticed there were a couple of them, actually.  They hurt pretty darn bad, but I wanted to be tough so I got back on my bike.  “I’m alright” (and so sketched out that I rode like a 4 year-old to the next aid station). 
 
The start of something BIG.
 
We stopped at the tent and I got some water.  I felt like a tard…oh well.  Next!
 
We turned in our bikes and checked out more of the demo.  Lots of rad bikes and funky ideas.  Some of my favorites booths were Yeti, Giant, Surly (of course) and Zee.  I saw more DH bikes than I ever needed to see and wanted to ride one pretty bad.  Since I crashed on a non DH trail and I was now Mayor of Wussville, I passed.  The guys were trying to get me to do the Downhill Challenge where people had the opportunity to race against the clock.  I declined.  I would have killed myself.
 
 
 
 
 
We rode around on some different bikes…and tested out more of the ground…or at least I did.  I went over the handlebars YET AGAIN in a pretty loose patch.  This time I wasn’t turning or going particularly fast…I just ate it HARD.  I flipped to my right side, tearing up my leg, elbow, hip and shoulder.  My helmet saved the day when my head slammed onto the ground.  We were sure I had cracked it, but luckily I hadn’t.  I had blood everywhere and ripped up my jersey.  At this point I was just plain pissed off that I couldn’t stay on my bike.  Chapman offered his advice…”Maybe you should try slowing down.”  Thanks, Captain Obvious.
 

 
Clean me up, hottie!

 
We headed back to the tents and by this time my hangover was cured and all I had was a headache, probably from slamming my cranium into the desert floor.  We decided to eat and check out some other stuff in and around the demo.  Met all types of cool folks and jammed out to a great DJ at lunch.  On our way out, little angels were handing out water and cans of Sierra Nevada.  Torpedo will bring me back to life!  We went out to eat and met up with some reps…then I rode a mechanical bull.  It was a good day!
 
 
Megan’s official beer of Interbike.
 
 
 
Day 2 of Dirt Demo had a little different feel.  We had 26 miles of the Tour de Lake Meade and I had been lined up with a Giant Avail with Di2.  That stuff is smooth like a baby’s butt!  Meggie likey!
 
 
Purple Gurple.
 
The first half of the ride was screaming down a hill pretty much all the way to the lake.  The lead pack was flyin’ and I tried my best to keep up without all the wobbly kooks whizzing by me on both sides.  Sketchy sketch balls.  Once it flattened out, I decided that 25 mph was faster than I wanted to go and I slowed down a lot.  I was still feelin’ Monster Cross in my quads.  We arrived at the lake and took some shots…
 
Photos…not actual shots…
 
The ride back to the demo was up, up and away.  Hmmm.  I love climbing.  Not!  It actually wasn’t bad once we got out of the lake basin.  I kept it slow and steady like a turtle and made it back to the Giant tent in one piece.  Thank God I haven’t learned how to crash on a road bike…yet.  I was feeling a little snotty at this point and figured it was just allergies from all the dust.  I would later learn that I had SARS.  Ok, not really, but it could have been?!
 
 
 
We milled around demo, ate, drank and rode bikes.  We played on Surly’s Pugsly…it was fat.  As silly as you might think they are, they can actually hold a pretty solid line.  I had a great time riding that little thing.  This is where I picked up my new name…”Molly the Shop Kitty”.  God bless those guys at Surly.  They are the jam. 
 
 
 
 
Does this bike my my ass look fat?
 
 
 
Fast forward to dinner…drinks…SRAM 25th Anniversary industry party at Lavo.  More dancing…the boys did some gambling.  Pretty mellow evening.  The next day was day 1 of the actual Interbike trade show…let’s see mo’ bikes!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Scott Sub
 
When I walked into the show, I immediately gasped.  It was HUGE!  I felt like Charlie when he entered the Chocolate Factory…except there were no Oompah Loompahs and I couldn’t find the chocolate river.  I met quite a few of our local reps and got a sneak peek at what’s new for 2013.  I learned a TON and it did nothing but spark more of an interest in these little wheeled beings.  Cool folks everywhere and we all had one great thing in common…bicycles.  We had a few meetings, discussed ideas for the shop and took lots of bike photos…
 
 
 
New Hospital Foam Crosscheck
 
 
Ritchey 650b
 
Wednesday night was Cross Vegas.  Loved this!  I had the pleasure of checking out some rad women on bikes like Alison Powers and Robin Farina.  I felt like ass in a can by this night and the only thing to numb my bird flu pain was Sierra Nevada Torpedo.  I drank till we had to ride the bus back and then I died.  Pretty sure I was going to wake up in a puddle of my own drool…with SARS.  Yep.  It was that bad.  I somehow managed to stay in the “fun zone” until it was bedtime…thank goodness!
 

 
 
 
 
Both my phone and my camera died, so my CX photos are lame and limited.  And blurry.  Boo.
 
 
Thursday.  More trade show.  More bikes.  More cool ass people.  Thursday night…Sinclair party.  It was the jam.  I stayed out too late and had a few too many…so did everyone else.  I dance till I had blisters on both my feet…multiple places.  It was like I ran a marathon in a pair of Keds. 
 
 
We wrapped things up on Friday.  Last minute stroll through the bikes and last minute chats with reps.  I was tired and ready to go home, but sad to return to my “normal life” as a paramedic.  The more time I spend in the bike world, the less I want to be a full-time paramedic.  I’m starting to think about my B.S. in Recreation Management again…will it ever end?
 
The moral of this story, while poorly written, is Interbike opened my eyes.  I’m down for this industry and stoked to see what new things come our way.  I’m even more stoked to finally have a basic knowledge of what I’m doing in the shop.  I can’t wait to get back in there and sell the shit out of some bikes.  I met some super awesome folks too…Jamie, Tarbell, Joanna etc.  I actually saw some people that I knew…mostly from my Mammoth and Boone days.  It’s for sure a small world out there. 
 
I’m sick, beat up and still very exhausted from my week in Vegas…but ready to hit the shop tomorrow morning and see what I can do.
 
No really…I can.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Shut Up Legs! (Pisgah Death March)

 
You know you just did something rad when your own brother admits “I didn’t really think you would finish.”  To be honest, I was pretty certain I wouldn’t either.  I signed up for this race to see what my body was capable of, figuring I’d die or at the very least, get pulled due to time limits.  It is very apparent from the bodily pain I am in at this moment…that I finished.
 
0745 hours…
We gathered at the starting line and chatted with some friends.  I saw my old college classmate from App and we caught up for a bit.  Always nice to see familiar faces at out of town events.  I glanced at the “competition” and sized up who I thought I could potentially beat.  I for sure knew the guy with the baby pink Specialized with purple bar tape was gonna smoke my ass.  You don’t mess around with a bike like that.  The girl wearing butterfly wings, a tutu and pink socks wasn’t going down without a fight either.  You’re either going to A) Drink beer in the lot once the race starts or B) Chick every dude there.
 
0800 hours…
Cowbells a blazin’…here we go.  I must say, the first section of fire roads sucked big hairy you-know-whats.  At one point I was “climbing” a 14% grade.  I walked a few sections just because I knew I had an entire day in the saddle…what’s a few yards?  The downs were just as hard as the ups.  Pisgah climbs bring Pisgah descents.  Cross bikes…not made for rutty, rocky, fast downhill.  Sketchy to say the least.  I did the best I could, but those roads beat me up.  I never crashed, but my hands felt like they had been smashed with an anvil.  Super. Epic. Sketchiness.
 
1000 hours…
After suffering like a dog for 20 miles of fire roads, I saw the first aid station.  Hell yes…
I ate pb&j, filled my bottles and continued on my way.  I still had 50 miles to go and I had made the first cut off by 2 hours.  Double hell yes…
Second aid station was only 8 miles away.  I was ready to rumble.  I could feel my “dark place” creeping up and was starting to feel some anxiety about finishing.  I pedaled and ate and drank and pedaled and drank…and walked a few 9% graded areas.  Caught up to a couple of guys riding Surlys.  They passed me around mile 10.  I decided to go up ahead of them because I just knew they’d pass me on the climb.  I needed a head start. I just wanted to see the Blue Ridge Parkway. 
Be very careful what you wish for…
 
I know why the second aid station was only 8 miles from the first.  It took me FOREVER to get there.  The Blue Ridge Parkway in Pisgah is much more gnarly than anything I remember riding when I lived in Boone.  8%, 9% and the gut busting 16%…filled in with some “false flats” at 4%.  With the exception of a few very SHORT downs, I spent 27 miles climbing from the first aid station to the turn off onto 215 from the Parkway.  My sit bones were screaming two hours into the ride and now I was dying.  At this point I was having very dark thoughts and wondering if I could catch the sag wagon.  Please, please God just let me finish.  That’s all I want.  I looked behind me…those two guys were gone.  I had dropped them.  Freaking amazing.
 
215 was BITCHIN’ and just what I needed to boost my confidence and moral.  8 miles of FAST, curvy DESCENT!!!  I was freezing my happy ass off by this time, but really enjoying myself.  Cross tires bring an element of sketchiness though…not as sticky on the big turns.  Gotta watch yourself.  I came up on another chick.  Finally, another rider!!  I spent most of the day alone and never thought I’d see another person till the end.  She was locked up on her brakes the whole way down and I had to pass her.  I worked hard for this and YOU WILL NOT MAKE ME RIDE MY BRAKES!
 
1300ish hours…
Aid station number 3…BOOOYAAAH!  The fine fellas at Sycamore Cycles hooked me up with GU Brew and a few more pb&js.  Amazingly, I ate like a cow during the ride and had hunger pains at this point.  Seriously?  Hunger pains?  I did my thang and got back on the bike.  14 miles to go.  I had this biatch in the bag. 
 
The girl I passed on the big downhill passed me back on the last section of gravel.  I gave the 11% grade the middle finger and got off my bike.  HIKE-A-BIKE in full effect!!  My little friend decided that was a great idea and we had a nice little chat about how miserable we’d been all day.  🙂
We decided to keep each other company for the last 12 miles, most of which were downhill or flat.  I was getting excited at this point.  I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I was gonna finish this race. 
 
As we came around the corner, I saw blue lights.  Was that it?  Were we at the campground?  I saw the Pisgah Ranger Station and almost started crying.  I looked back and shared the good news with my little friend.  She was stoked too.  Made the turn into the parking lot and thought I was just going to rip through the finish…ooooooh no.  Not in the Pisgah.  I was shocked to see 3 CX barriers between me and the finish.  Everyone was yelling and cowbells were banging…I had to dismount after 70 miles of hell and run my bike through 3 barriers. 
 
So I did.
 
I saw Anet and Mike at the finish and broke down in tears.  I looked at my watch and I had done the race in roughly 7.5 hours.  I beat my goal by 2.5 hours.  I honestly thought it would take me closer to 10 hours to finish…I surprised myself.  I was so happy…so proud…and felt pretty badass.
 
Speaking of ass, can someone pass me the donut pillow?  I’m in agony over here.  🙂
 
Next up? Interbike!
 
 
What did I eat today?  Glad you asked…
 
2 honey stinger waffles
1 bonk breaker
1 pack of honey stinger chomps
3 chocolate #9 gels
1 hammer gel
3 small pb&js
2 bananas
5 bottles of water and electrolyte mix
 
Post race:
1 Budweiser (best one and last one ever!)
Burrito
 


Poppin’ the enduro racing cherry…or somethin’ like that.

If you can’t hang with the big dogs, dress like ’em.

So you wanna be an endurance racer, eh?  Well, put on your big girl panties and let’s do this thang!
 
I’m sitting here looking at the big pile of stuff on my bed and trying to remember how to take the rear wheel off and put it back on after changing a tube.  I know I’ll be changing a tube at some point on Saturday.  You’re probably saying to yourself, “Really? You don’t know how to do it?”  It’s not that I don’t, it just takes me MUCH longer than the average bear to do something a shop guy can do in 5 minutes.  Please lord, if I have to get a flat, let it be in the front.
 
Duckman has decided to join his little sister in a day of fun and agony in the Pisgah.  I’m happy he’ll be there when I finish…and hope he isn’t pissed when he has to wait a couple extra hours 🙂  Please have the following items ready at the finish line:
1. Beer
2. Burrito
3. Ice pack for my ass
 
If that isn’t enough physical punishment, my flight to Vegas leaves from the Tri-Cities the next morning at 8:30.  Talk about torture!  Sore and sleepless…pass the wine, please.  On a positive note, Interbike should be a rad week of fun and learning.  I’m beyond thrilled and grateful for an epic opportunity like this.  Cool stuff doesn’t happen to this girl very often…I’m gonna bask in it for a while.
 
I’ll give ya a rundown after the race and hopefully have photos of what went down in Vegas…because that crap doesn’t actually stay in Vegas.  Whoever came up with that is a liar. 😉
 
 
 


Guts to Glory: How To Train Like an Archer

Surly says: “Yeah bitches, you want some of this?!”
 
Sometimes we get a gut feeling during a race…no, not the GI cramps from your last packet of GU.  More like a hunch that our time is gonna suck.  We no longer care about how fast we are or who’s passing us…we just want it to be over.  Yeah.  That’s pretty much how my first triathlon went down. 
 
For the past week, I have been making jokes about my lack of training.  Sure, I’ve been smashing out miles on the bike but lacked the motivation to run and keep up with lap swim.  I figured being a super sprint triathlon, I would just “man up” and suffer it out for an hour or so.  I woke up this morning and realized what I had done…signed up for a potential death march.
 
I woke up at 4am to gather my things, drink some coffee and pray to the triathlon gods.  “Please, just don’t let me be last”.  That’s always my main concern.  Always.  I loaded up the car and headed out a wee bit too early, but better to be early than late, right?  I jammed out to some old school hip hop and car-danced my nerves away.  I was skerrrd.
 
I pulled up to Legion Street and began unloading my gear.  I felt like an idiot.  I imagined the day looking more like a junk show.  I had NEVER EVER practiced a transition.  I hadn’t been in the pool since July and my running days have been FEW and far between.  I couldn’t imagine doing well…or feeling well.  This is the way of an Archer.
 
It was nice to see the sweet faces of all my friends.  Amazing people and STRONG athletes.  I knew I had to be tough, not only for myself but for them.  I had to show the world I wasn’t afraid to come out and risk looking like an untrained idiot…I wanted to show myself what I am capable of.  The highlight of my morning was seeing “Coach Williams” walk up in the bike transition area.  Jamie has always been a solid rock for me no matter what…her support meant the world.
 
Go time.
After taking a few warm up laps in the pool, I lined up with all the other competitors and attempted to look calm.  My heart was in my stomach.  Luckily they had C&C Music Factory’s “Everybody Dance Now” blazin’ out of the speakers…I couldn’t help but dance my nerves away.  Jams.  Megan likes the Jams…even if they are from the early 90s. 🙂
 
It was my time to jump in..ready set go!  I immediately forgot about being nervous and focused on not drowning.  I know how to swim…just not like an Ironman.  I probably went out a little too hard because I started feeling like shit by 150 meters.  I let a girl pass me because she was right on my toes, only to have her stub up in front of me.  “Seriously?  You’re gonna pass me and then slow down?”  I pulled over to her left and swam right next to her…she gave me motivation to paddle harder.  I might have looked like a choppy nightmare, but it got me there.
 
I felt pretty good coming out of the water.  I jogged over to my bike and had a bit of a balance issue.  I fumbled around with my bike shoes and got ready to ride.  I ran out of transition and used my newly obtained “cyclocross mount” to get on and start riding.  I popped a Chocolate #9 and put my legs in “go mode”. 
 
Just so you guys know, the course is NOT flat.  I was spittin’ mad game about how it was only 380 vertical all morning, only to find out I would be doing some serious work for every one of the 9 miles.  I got passed up on the first climb by some dude on a mtn bike with a camelbak.  I started to catch up to him until I realized he was on a relay team and didn’t swim.  “Why am I trying to keep up with a relay team?”.  I let him go, even though everything inside of me said “DON’T LET THE MTB’er WITH THE CAMELBAK BEAT YOU ON THIS ROAD RIDE!”
 
I then put the words of Duckman into motion: “Pick someone out in front of you, work your ass off to catch up.  Pass them and then pick out someone else to pass.  Pick them off one by one”.  So I did.  I never gave myself much of a break.  On the big descent I got in my drops and geared up to gain some speed.  I don’t know how many people I passed, but I remember thinking how I would need the bike advantage for my run.  I needed to pass as many people as I could, because the run would kill me.  I came into the last stretch pretty darn hot and thought I could pull off a CX dismount.  I didn’t take into account that my legs would feel like jelly and I almost speed wobbled into a crowd of people.  I’m sure I looked like a sketchy gaper.  Oh well…it was time for the turtle shuffle.
 
I felt great coming into transition…then I started to run.  OUCH.  I immediately felt sore and tired and crampy and bitchy and moany.  I felt like a bag of turds.  I kept telling myself “don’t stop” and “this is your dark place”.  I knew my lack of training runs would hurt me…and it did.  I finally made it back to the long stretch where I could see cones and hear people.  This is where I shine, no matter how bad I feel.  I kicked it up a bit and as soon as I got to my first orange cone I kicked it up a lot.  I was in my “sprint till ya puke” mode.  I crossed the line…I finished strong!
 
As soon as the nausea and hypoxia wore off, I felt pumped.  I felt like I could do it again…and MUCH BETTER if I actually trained.  Imagine the surprised look on my face when I found out I placed 1st in my age group?!  Yep.  That’s the look I had, too.
 
I’ve been in shock all day about so many things.  Mostly, how strong I’ve become on the bike.  I’m amazed every day.  I feel a wave of motivation coming over me…it’s been a while since I had one.  I’m ready for CX and excited to see what I can get into next tri season.  I also have some 8, 12 and 24 hour mtb races in my sights.  Maybe I’ll train a little more for my next race…or maybe not.  I’ve got Archer blood in me and you know how that goes 🙂
 
 
 
 

Boys, Beer and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance


Duckman’s Bicycle University
“How to change Road Surly to Cross Surly”
 
Liberation.  That’s what I’m striving for at this very moment.  I want to be liberated from the boys.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my guy friends and have a blast riding with them…I just don’t want to depend on them for ANYTHING.  I want to be a tough chick.
 
I started my 3rd job this weekend at Piney Flats Bicycle Shop (insert loud “whoop!” and fist pump here).  I was beyond excited to join a team of wonderful dudes and learn more about my favorite thing ever…bikes.  I never claimed to know much about them, but I really like pedaling, so I figured I could at least bring my bike love to the table.  I took both of my babies in for a tuneup and immediately caught a bunch of ish from the guys.  “When’s the last time you cleaned your bike?”  “Do you not maintenance these things?”  “Don’t you work at a bike shop?!”  Apparently my sub par cleaning and lack of mechanical knowledge made my bikes look like a dumpster find.  Well, teach me how to do it, dammit!
 
Beep beep!  Here comes the bus and it’s taking my ass to school!
 
Duckman happily agreed to start Bike U in our garage last night.  Between EMS and the shop, I have successfully put in 98 hours of work this week.  Last thing I wanted to do was more work but most of my energy goes into my riding and I need to focus on making things function properly.  Soooo, we cracked open some beers and got down to business…
Beer cage?
 
The last time I changed a bike tube was around 2006 when I had my little Cannondale.  I’ve been lucky thus far and haven’t had any serious mechanical troubles since getting the Scott Comp and Surly Crosscheck earlier this year.  My luck is going to change eventually and I’ll have to man up and fix my shizzle.  It took me a bit to remember how to do it, but I’m a quick learner and figured it out.  I learned about sticker placement of the tires and traditions that make for good reading on Velominati.com
 
And I now have a CROSS bike.  Magic….
 
Speaking of bikes…
Yesterday was a very, VERY busy day in the bike shop.  I knew things could get crazy on a Saturday but I never realized how much business Piney does when everyone is off work.  I buzzed around the shop like crazy person, trying to make sure everyone was getting what they needed.  Since my knowledge is limited, I had to continuously ask the boys questions throughout the day.  God bless ’em…they were patient and helped me out A LOT.  I enjoyed talking to people who share my love of two wheels and helping some make their very first bike purchase. 
 
A little 60+ year old lady came into the shop with an old bike and a desire to ride.  She said most of the places she called gave her the cold shoulder and commented on how old and crusty her department store bike was.  She commented on how polite and helpful I was both on the phone and in the shop.  Why the heck would I be disrespectful?  This lady only wanted one thing…to ride her bike.  It shouldn’t matter if you have a $10,000 carbon racing bike or a $10 garage sale find.  We all have the same goal…to pedal.  What makes me better than her?  Absolutely nothing.  She hadn’t been on a bike in nearly 40 years.  I was STOKED for her.
 
Hopefully these fellas will teach me a thing or two about bicycle maintenance and I’ll be able to rely on myself more.  This must be how women felt when they were finally given the right to vote.  Liberated and ready to raise hell! 
 
I like boys.  I like beer.  And together, they will teach me the art of bicycle maintenance. 😉
 
I’m thinking “Gee, I hope I can be as awesome as Kit.”