Well, with the new ride and wheel good to go, it’s back to PR. This time, clockwise up the escape route, which means a twisty descent followed by a big uphill sprint. My strategy: get out front on the descent, take the best lines, and huff it up the hill so I can catch on when everyone passes me. This works great for the first 4 laps… then, the preme, and I just can’t catch back on the lap after the preme. So I sit out for a lap, and then hop back in the end to at least do the hill repeats. I end up getting dropped again up the hill towards the end… the gas isn’t there. Alas! But it’s a good ride, and I’m loving the new bike. Still gotta figure out the shifting however… it’s rubbing far too much.
Well, I finally took out the new bike today – a nice shiny yellow 2008 Trek Madone 5.5 Pro, outfitted with SRAM Force components and my PowerTap wheel. Well, long story short… 7 laps into the flats, and there’s something horribly wrong with the bike. Turns out, the PowerTap wheel isn’t all that true, and it’s getting worse… causing the brakes to rub and really squeal. So I stop, try to adjust the brakes… nope. My bad for trying to true the wheel up the day before. So much for the maiden voyage!
Next day, I drop it off at the new CounterBalance bike shop, which is where the old TiCycles used to be on the Burke Gilman trail. $20 later and a new spoke, good as new. We’ll get ’em next time!
Today I got to participate in my first bike-to-work (school) day. I left early so I could make get my coffee at Bus Stop, then check out the SWAG at the Bike to School day. I wound up seeing Kathy Shane – the bike commuter who had been interviewed on Fox News on Monday May 12 – (hey, it was just after watching House on Monday night).
I told her I loved her comment about “and you look so good in the bike clothes!” I think she was surprised anyone recognized her.
I met another teacher (Debby Heath) and 4 students (including a middle schooler!) at the Greenlake Starbuck’s and we headed up towards school. We stopped at the Northgate Bike to Work stop and got more Clif Bars.
At school the bike rack, which usually has a few empty spots even at 10 am, was completely packed…
After that I headed to collect my free breakfast by just showing my helmet 😉 MMMM, Belgian waffles and eggs. MMMMM.
But the best part of the commute is one of the other teachers, Scott Ogawa and 6 other students wound up biking to ballard on the “conference bike.”
They apparently rented it from the Dutch Bike Co and rode in. Now I won’t mention that they *drove* to get the bike, but they did bike commute. Here are two photos:
Apparently it’s the first bicycle of this type in Seattle. Scott said it’s really geared for going up hills. For downhills it has a break pedal like a car. Scott also said it was frustrating on the flats because you were spinning a LOT. I suspect they also had to completely take a lane as opposed being able to share a lane with cars…
Well, after a month off, I returned to Pacific Raceways for a flats race. The race was… weird. The 1/2/3s lapped us in the 4/5s fairly early (as is often the case in flats due to 6 minute laps and staggered starts), but then had an early break, and the chase group basically gave up. This then caused the 4/5s to start to lap the 1/2/3s a few times! After the first time, we went neutral around the first turn (the big oval on the left), but then they sat up on the dragstrip… so we started to pass them. They didn’t like that, so they moved ahead… but not by much (as in our front was pretty much drafting off them). Then around the start/finish a few laps later, we were passing them and they went neutral, and then in the middle of the pass they took off again. Bit of a cluster, frankly.
I decided to push some sprints up the sides, trying to tow Winos behind to the front. Went up to the front three times (once to the actual front and did a bit of pulling), but for whatever reason the Wino I wanted to bring was busy recovering, so that didn’t happen. Ah well. Went for the first preme, but didn’t have enough on the sprint compared with the other guys who were going for it. Oh well, no Oberto for me! Tried to move up for a chance at the sprint on the second lap, but really didn’t have much left and coasted in with the pack on the bunch sprint.