Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Friday Night = Madison Road Trip

Darrin has a routine he follows for the week before a race which includes different types of rides to help him prepare. He also does a lot of mental preparation through relaxing, looking up the race course, and setting a race goal for himself. The last few things are to get his bike ready for the race and pack the car up. My pre-race preparation usually starts the Friday before hand and involves getting the food prepared, packing up everything except Darrin's biking stuff, and making sure Darrin has packed everything he needs.
Friday afternoon started off great. Darrin had the night off from biking which allowed him to chill out while cleaning up his bike. After about 2 hours of working in the basement, Darrin walked into the kitchen with a look of panic on his face. "We have a slight dilemma." Now to me this only meant one thing, something was broken and we had to fix it.
Tuesday night Darrin and I went to Crystal Ridge. I studied and took Ginger for a walk while Darrin got in some race pace training. After the night was over and we were packing the bike up, Darrin mentioned that his headset was loose and he needed to tighten it before the weekend. Upon working on his bike Friday afternoon he realized that the part was broken and not just loose.
Immediately a chain of phone calls happened. First he talked to his brother Craig, who we would call Darrin's part time mechanic. Craig remembered that Chris had the exact replacement for Darrin and out of luck would be returning to Marshfield for the weekend. Darrin was still feeling a bit concerned about pre-riding the course on Saturday and wanted to get the part changed as soon as possible. We talked about other solutions and Darrin made a few more phone calls to bike shops and his coach. Just as he was beginning to freak out, Chris called and offered to put the part on for him if he wanted to make the trek over to Madison Friday night. At 7:30pm, we were on our way to Madison with the bike in the back of the car. Chris lives on Madison's south side and happens to work at a bike shop near his house. At 8:40pm the bike was up on a mechanic stand and torn down in minutes. Darrin lended a hand when he could by holding brake cables and greasing parts, but he left the real work to the mechanic. I was very entertained by the boys, the bike shop, and the very friendly shop cat. Ginger, however viewed him as a pest and refused to give him the time of day.
Chris had a latte beforehand, and it showed when he finished putting the bike together a little before 10pm. He then offered to "tru" up Darrin's wheels for him. Chris gave us a quick tour of the bike shop which allowed Darrin to find new tires for his commuter. By 10:30pm the bike was back on top of the car, we dropped Chris off at his apartment, and we headed back to Milwaukee.
Madison is about an hour and a half from our house. (Depending on where you are going to go in the city.) We probably would have been in bed by 8:30 that night, but this was a much better adventure.
A big thank you to Craig and Chris for locating the part, and getting it put on Darrin's bike. Dreams aren't possible without a great support crew.

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