Thursday, February 07, 2008

Since the daily routine is snow, snow, and more snow, I've had lots of time to think about different ways to keep the indoor workouts interesting. I have also come to a stunning conclusion that if God had intended us to live in these climates, the Garden of Eden would have been at the North Pole. After all, bears hibernate, don't they??
So I had this brainstorm the other day about getting my bike trainer out, now that my friend Jan has finally returned it to me after all these years. Maybe part of it was getting on the bike at the indoor tri, where we rode on trainers, and where I could see just how badly I needed to improve my bike skills and ability if I really wanted to improve on the bike this year.
My bike, however, has been out in the garage since the last race I did in September (Autumn Colors triathlon at Holly State Park. Remember that Shelley????) ! I haven't been on it since. I had no tris scheduled after that, and vowed to concentrate on my running for the month of October. And living in the dark north, biking from November until April is almost non-existent, for me that is. (I do see hearty-and crazy-souls out every day, no matter the weather.)
Yesterday, as is the norm lately, we had another major snow storm to come through the area, bad enough that they actually let us go home from work early. That gave me another great idea: since it was still light out and Don had just finished snowblowing a path from the garage to the house, why not bring my bike in and set it up for the night and get this party started??
While it was a great idea at the time, things did not go well, another example of my shortcomings with the bike. First, I couldn't quite remember how to set the trainer up. It has been about 3 years since I've used it! I got the bike set up, but realized things weren't right, even though I was pedalling along at an amazing 17 mph. But I realized that I was missing a piece of it, actually the resistance piece, so got back off the bike, took the bike off the trainer, and put that part on. Then, as luck would have it, the bike would not go back on the trainer! I fiddled with it, adjusted it, twisted it, pried it, nothing worked. So I then had the not-so-great idea of trying to adjust the quick release lever, thinking that was part of the problem. Then the back wheel falls off. Dang! I absolutely hate messing with the back wheel! I couldn't get it on right away, so tipped the bike upside down, on the seat, and got the wheel right back on. Then I noticed the chain had slipped some so attempted to fix that. By now my hands were grease covered, since of course I hadn't cleaned the chain after my last rides. And then another mystery occurrence happened: somehow the chain got wrapped around my pedal and from then on, I had no idea how to get it fixed.
I finally had to call Don to my rescue. For me to ask him for any bike help is an absolute last resort for me. Don has made it pretty clear over the years that I need to learn how to handle bike problems by myself, so usually he won't (offer to) help me unless I am desparate, which I was this time. But he has also made it clear that he won't even touch my bike if the chain is dirty, which it was, so before I could ask him for help, I had to try to clean up the chain as best I could. In the house. Without the benefit of a hose. It was pretty bad. I hate to admit it, but cleaning my bike chain ranks right up there with sticking a finger in my eye or putting my hand on a hot burner--horrible! I hate it!
Then the next comedy of errors began, with me trying to get that chain cleaned up respectably enough so he wouldn't blow a gasket over it. I finally had to resort to spraying the cleaning solution all over my hands and taking my hands and running the chain through my grease and cleaner coated hands. I thought I was doing a pretty good job, particularly since my hands were coming clean at the same time as they were getting greased up!
I found out otherwise, however, when I finally did call Don for help and the first thing out of his mouth was: why didn't you ask me for help? (?) and the second thing was: I told you about that chain. You never clean your chain. I need gloves. Grumble, grumble.
Voila! I happened to find a pair just before he said it, so that saved the day on that at least.
Long story short here, I am going to have to take that stupid bike into the shop to get the chain straightened out. After Don worked on it for about 30 minutes (after my 30 minutes), he was totally stumped on first, how it happened, and second, how to fix it. No matter how hard he tried to figure it out, there was still a kink in it. NCAA (no clue at all) here.
So, hopefully I can get that taken care of so I can get busy riding!


jahowie said...

I have Benny Hill music playing in my head right now. What a mess!! I would just buy a new chain at this point.

bunnygirl said...

I sometimes get myself into bike chain conundrums, but that sounds like a doozy! Good luck!

Flo said...

Sounds like some of my weird karma is rubbing off. Be careful, strange things are happening :)

cindy said...

Oh, that sounds frustrating! Good luck. I hope it gets fixed fast so you can ride....which reminds me..I need to get back on the bike, too!

Sunshine said...

Your perseverance is astonishing. May all good spirits protect and energize you.
We keep saying spring will come... It will, won't it??

WADDLER26.2 said...

At least you weren't worrying about the snow. LMAO.

Marcy said...

LMAO chica! Just sit on a stationary, it would be a lot easier ;-)

E-Speed said...

That is so frustrating when all you wanted to do was get in a little ride!

bill carter said...

Hi Vickie

I am quite possibly the most mechanically inept person in the world and had a knowing smile on my face as I read your blog. I almost always end up with the grease all over my hands and in a worse predicament than when I started:-). Hang in there and I think this winter, which has been a tough one. is on its last legs.. I hope.