Leland. Meh. The title says it all.
So….what else is new?
Raviv is off to Gila. He’s a hos. No doubt about it.
Scott is recovering from his hernia surgery….by riding. For some reason I feel guilty just thinking about that.
Iowa. There was a race omnium there this last weekend. Being Tim Speciale alma matter he saw fit to head that way and unleash the awesome. He did OK. Got enough points to upgrade. He’ll be a 3 now. Raviv isn’t far behind.
So Matt Cook – our red-headed 2010 version of Ryan Austin – went along with Tim to Iowa. Now this guy has promise. He’s a 5 but carries himself on a bike with that gait of a natural rider. He’s made quick progress in a short period of time but it seems his season has been filled with lots of luck. The bad kind.
Let’s start at the beginning: Matt, brother of someone near and dear to Speciale, was brought into the sport late last fall. Speciale worked long and hard to cobble together a rig that Cook could throw a leg over and call his own. The result is a hodge-podge of gear that is either completely worn out or cast aside. Every time I get in a line behind him I am waiting for the thing to start dropping pieces. Yet he rides it. Hells yes.
Before Hillsboro Speciale had me order up some decent but cheap tires for Cook to get him through the season. Because Speciale ended up on the PSIMET carbon for Hillsboro he gave Cook the opportunity to ride on his powertap. Last minute tire and tube swap and Cook was cooking with gas.
4 miles in to the 5′s race – flat. He spent the rest of the race in the chase truck. I felt bad for him having to go all that way down there to flat in the first 4 miles. On the way back Speciale discovers that there is a hole in the sidewall – Cook must have put the tire lever through it mounting the tire that morning.
Flash forward to last couple of weeks. Every ride Cook goes out on he gets a flat. WTF!? I am not there but keep hearing about it. I’m starting to think I need to watch him replace a tube. Last Tuesday he flats again. Twice. In the same ride. Somethings up but I use it as an opportunity to poke fun at him.
So we go out riding Thursday. Going into a turn – POP! I was behind him and watched it happen. It was an over pressurization failure – tube no longer restrained by the tire for sure. I look it over and nothing. I pull the tube out and it indeed has the telltale longitudinal tears but they are very small. I am careful to keep the tire on and oriented the same as the tube so I can study the sidewall…. it’s torn…..
Just then Ryan comes up and says, “hey, his brake in the rear on the right side was rubbing.” The tire has a groove worn all along it from where the brake pad had been rubbing on the tire every time he hit the brakes. *sorry Pandora just kicked in with Cake – going the distance* This was pure ball-busting gold. All I could think about was all of the problems he’s had with flats and he never once figured out the root cause – tons of tubes, 2 tires…nothing. It was almost like someone had asked him when the last time he changed the oil in his car and he responded with, “you have to change that?” In the end I was just happy we found the root cause and I could be reasonably certain he wasn’t going to be affect by flats like he was.
So – with everything working as it should- he set off to Iowa. I got the following text from Speciale after the road race:
“I got nipped at the line and finished 4th…matt got hit by a f*****g..deer”
an hour later I got around to asking if he was OK. I guess I just knew he was. I called him later in the day to get his report – “everything was going great then someone yelled ‘DEER!’ at the same moment I saw something big, brown and furry off to my side. Before I knew what was going on I was on the ground. I f’n hate deer.”
“I got right back on the bike and kept racing. I didn’t really know where I was or what I was doing for about 10 minutes. Then I dropped my chain twice and got it stuck. Somethings up with the bike. I need a new helmet too.”