Bad News Bolts

Before I begin, I’ve got another race report from the Golden State Circuit Race up on the Race Reports page in case you’re interested in that kind of thing.

Now, on to more pressing topics: the Mount Diablo Hillclimb Time Trial.

HCTTs bring out the worst in people, and by “people,” I mean Dan Connelly (visit his website at your own peril; if you’ve any predilection for graphs, you’ll never escape). Here is a photograph of Dan and his 10.97 pound bicycle, which I assume he uses primarily for technical criteriums, the Leesville Gap RR, and as a Burning Man bike.

How does one go about building a 10.97 pound bicycle? Well, here’s a closeup of the Michael Rasmussen of stems that Dan has selected for that purpose.

I’m pretty sure those are 2.5 mm allen bolts on the most critical component for overall bicycle control. Seriously, they’re not a whole hell of a lot bigger than the tiny bolts used to secure brake pads into their calipers. Yikes. Still…you can pick that bike up with your pinky finger, so maybe it’s worth the risk.

Lest you think that Dan is the only dorktastic cyclist in that photograph, check out these custom, superlight strap-ons mounted to Ariel Herrmann’s bars. Clip-ons, excuse me. What did I say the first time?

Anyway, Ariel made those bars himself, and I wish I had a close-up photograph so that you could see the cool drilling pattern on the forearm rests. Making your own bike parts, if done well, is badass.

Registering for this race was one of the dumbest decisions I’ve made in a long time. OK, it was the dumbest decision since I registered for last week’s Dunlap ITT. (You know how monkeys will quickly learn not to push certain paddles if they receive a mild shock upon doing so? I’d be a terrible monkey.)

Typically, I’m pretty crotchety when I wake up before 6am for a bike race. However, this morning was different. As I wandered around my kitchen looking for various cereal components, I came to the groggy realization that it was 70 degrees outside and that the sun was rising rather spectacularly. It’s pretty cool to watch the shadow of Potrero Hill slink eastward across the Mission while the sun reflects blindingly off houses on Twin Peaks.

Given how infrequently San Francisco weather permits summery, outdoor behavior, I felt compelled to saunter out onto my balcony in my boxers and enjoy a little semi-nude breakfast. It was awesome, and made me surprisingly happy to be awake.

My only goal for this time trial was to avoid being caught by Nate English, who was slated to start three minutes behind me. If you think that sounds unambitious, you’ve obviously never heard of Nate English and his freakish climbing abilities.

Here’s a nice picture of me during the race.

In spite of all that fierceness, this is how I felt about my performance as I was rolling back to the car.

That’s my best “Meh.” face, in case you’re wondering. I should mention that I did not get caught by Nate as he stormed his way up the hill, so technically I achieved my goal for the day. I’m happy about that.

When the results were posted, I was shown in fifth place behind Nate English (Z-team), Ned Overend (Specialized), Eric Kimbles (Thirsty Bear/CVC) and Jonathan Teeter (DBC).

I’ll be honest, I’m kind of freaked out by this “Teeter” character. First of all, he’s on the Davis Bicycle Club, so I assume he’s from the city of Davis. If that’s the case, there’s no explanation for the fact that I beat him by six seconds in last weekend’s Dunlap ITT; in fact, being beaten in a flat time trial is grounds for castration according to the bylaws of the Davis Time Trial Cult. In addition, our respective times for both the Dunlap ITT and Mt. Diablo HCTT are very close to one another, and I worry that Mr. Teeter is attempting to oust me from my position as “Pretty Good but Not Great at Lots of Different Kinds of Races Guy.” I’m keeping my eye on you, dude.

OK, I have to spend the rest of my evening drilling out my chainrings for next year’s HCTT. Thankfully, with all this hot weather we’re having, I’ve lost about twelve pounds in water weight since 2pm; I’ll get you next time, Teeter*.

*For the record, I’ve never met Jonathan Teeter, nor do I actually have anything against him. Maybe I should follow him on Twitter.

7 responses to “Bad News Bolts

  1. Teeter crashed at 40 mph on a downhill at the Davis collegiate TTT. The other 2 guys on the squad had time to stop, examine the extent of Teeter’s injuries, get his bike back together, and still win the TTT by a minute.

    So what I’m saying is, what the hell, Cal Poly.

  2. Did Triceps show up?

  3. “if you can’t make it faster, make it lighter. drill everything.”

    the person who said this to me actually took my cycling shoes and race wheels away to dremel tool them.

    • I’m considering drilling out my helmet. You’d probably be down with that!

      Seriously, who said this to you? That must have been in the mid-90’s, because that’s about when drilling shit seemed to be in vogue as far as I can tell.

  4. told you you’re a climber

    • Fifth in a race that small does not qualify me as a “climber” by any means. It’s better than I would have expected, though.

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