Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cowbell Elaboration

You better get your coffee and your breakfast, sit back and relax this is a long one.

Just on cue, my washing machine stopped working last night. It dumped water in and out but the motor for spinning was completely shot. I had to resort to some alternative drying solutions as the clothes came out of the washer completely saturated.

I made the last of my modifications to the Drunken Monkey last night. First of all, I can tell Pearl Izumi and Ergon to eat their heart’s out.

Here is my version of Ergon grips:

I tried this for the first time in the PMBAR. I have grip tape wrapped around my lock on grips for extra comfort. I have large hands and the grips feel awesome this way. If the grip tape starts to slip, I just rip it off and keep moving with my lock-ons.

As you can see in this next picture, I got some new gloves. These are the mechanic gloves you can buy at any hardware store, I found them for $19.00 at Lowes. The have an awesome cush and I cut the tops of the fingers off as I am a sweaty beast. I tried them last night on an urban ride and I must say they rock! They even have pads for the bones on the top of your hands. That way I can throw a backhand at anyone trying to pass in the Cowbell, just kidding.

I waited until 9:00 to go for a short spin last night so I could test out the HID helmet mount that Joe is letting me borrow. I have no idea how I only used a bar mount before. Being able to look around and project a huge beam of light anywhere is quite the power trip. I rode some of the single track to make sure everything was latched tight enough and to give the new wheel setup another test. As I cruised back up Main street, there were hordes of people out. I made a right turn on Mcbee Avenue and I was cruising right behind a fellow in a convertible with a “share the road” license plate. I was doing a track stand behind him at a red light and he had his right turn blinker on. As the light turned green, he looked in his rearview mirror and saw me. He turned his head in the car, looked at me as though I were a possessed beast from a Wes Craven movie and then looked forward and moved the car about a foot. Then he turned again and looked, in a generally friendly voice I said “What’s up.” He didn’t say anything and finally turned. I wanted to say “Yes, I am a mountain biker with a really bright ass light on the top of my head, if you can’t tell I am standing still and I would like to pedal toward my house now.”

I touched on why the Cowbell is important to me a couple weeks back but I want to really relish in these thoughts leading up to the race. More than anything, this is to remind me to give it my all, 110% so to speak.

Earlier in the year, I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to do the Cowbell 2007. Last year, it was my first and only 12 hour race I have ever competed in. This year I really wanted to give Tsali a go but then circumstances changed.

I was asked to be a pall bearer in my Grandfather’s funeral. I was honored to have this duty along with some of my relatives. My grandfather was in World War II and served in the Navy. I did not hear many war stories from him but the ones that were relayed to me, stuck. Therefore, my Grandfather received recognition from some of his fellow comrades during his funeral. There was a rifle salute followed by TAPS.

Each of the Pall Bearer’s received a bullet casing from the guns fired. As I touched the shell the rest of the day and as I drove home from Indiana, I decided the Cowbell was where my “war” would be this year. Not my ultimate war, but my June War.

I have decided that I might need to be reminded of this during the race. So I am mounting the casing to my bike.

Here is the result:

When you see me turning the cranks at the race, you will know that physically I turn them with my body but mentally I turn them with my heart. I expect the spectators to be out in full sprits this year.

So a silent “cheers” goes out to everyone who is fighting their own “wars”, no matter what it is. You will be in my thoughts this weekend.

No post tomorrrow.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good luck my brother. Kick Ass!!!