heinz 57

More Opus race reports can be found at the Midwest Women's Cycling Made Real blog and Sarah's blog. Good stuff. Chicks rule.


The early part of this week was so crazy what with going to trial and getting the jury from hell, Opus starting, and trying to catch up with all the crap that piles up during trial prep, that I never blogged the events of the weekend. And for once, there actually were events. Here, then, is a catch-up (catsup, ketchup) post.


Saturday Nate and I went down to the Oxbow Spring Classic, which features mostly dirt/gravel roads and a monstrous 20% hill they call the Oxenburg. I did not race because I don't have a cross bike, but that didn't stop Nate. He slapped some bigger tires on his twenty-year-old Raleigh with the downtube shifters and off he went. While he was getting ready at the start line, I figured I would walk up to the hill so I could see the King of the Mountains prime, so I started walking. And I kept walking. And I walked some more. After a while I figured out that the hill was not as close as I remembered it being, so I stuck my thumb out and walked like that for a while. I must have looked like a pretty shady character in my pink tank top because it was a long time before anybody picked me up. When finally a car pulled over, it was already stuffed to the gills with six people and a Great Dane, but they let me in anyway. I got my ride to the bottom of the hill, walked to the top, and watched the A field go by, then the B field. I was expecting Nate to be somewhere near the front, but he was not. When he did go past he was swearing so much I started looking around for the Hell Week coffee maker.

It later turned out that the braze-on for his downtube shifter had failed and the shift lever had actually FALLEN OFF. He stopped and pounded it back on, but later it fell off again and he had to stop again. Despite all this, he finished the race, and even beat a lot of people whose shifters did not fall off. But he was very happy to get back to his good road bike.

Meanwhile, after the field passed me for the first time, I decided I would hoof it back to the car to put on some sunscreen and maybe change into my bike stuff and go for a little spin, since I had brought my bike with. Once again, the parking lot and the hill were not very near each other, and there wasn't anybody to hitch with this time, so I had a nice little three-mile hike in my flip-flops. And the sunscreen was more or less moot by the time I actually reached it. But I put it on anyway, and changed into spandex and got on my bike and rode back to the hill to see the finish. I must say, slipping around in the gravel was not fun, and riding up the Oxenburg was not fun, and I was not at all sad to have skipped the race. I will stick to normal roads, thank you very much.


The next day was also rather exciting, at least for about 15 minutes. Nate and I went riding with some of the team, most of whom had raced the day before, so it was an easy social ride. We were all having a good time until one guy, we'll call him Joe, hit the world's nastiest piece of road debris and crashed right in front of me, so I crashed right into him and Nate ran over my wheel and it was all very dramatic with cyclists piled in the road and bikes everywhere and people in cars stopping to stare. Fortunately for me, I landed right on the most, ahem, padded part of my hip/butt area, so I came out of it okay. (Word to the wise: extra 5-10 pounds come in handy sometimes, don't diet.) "Joe," on the other hand, landed on his shoulder really hard and while the other guys were changing his tires for him -- yes, both, I'll tell you in a minute what it was he ran into -- it swelled up quite a bit. Just in those ten minutes. Not good. He ended up calling his wife for a ride home.

Meanwhile, I had figured out that nothing was broken (except for a little skin) and checked out my bike and helmet, which were also intact except for a bit of bar tape. And one by one, everyone had gone to inspect the offending object. Folks, I have seen some weird shit in the roads in the years I've been cycling, but never have I seen a big chunk of an amplifier cleverly hidden in a plastic grocery bag and dropped in the road. Poor Joe never had a chance.

I also seem to have done something to my wrist/thumb, although lord only knows what, because it got progressively more sore that afternoon and I had to haul out my old Ace bandage to wrap it up for a couple days. It's still sore now, but it no longer hurts to move it. Of course I had a haircut appointment Monday evening, and the last time I had a haircut I was wearing the stress fracture boot, and my stylist just shook her head when she saw me. Calamity Jane, that's me. But she's the one who's talking about getting a motorcycle, so we'll see who's shaking whose head in a few years when she has no legs.

I saw "Joe" at Opus on Tuesday, and while he was still too sore to race, he said he had been thoroughly x-rayed and pronounced A-OK, and had even been back on his bike for a short spin. In case anyone was worried.


And today I got a spam email from someone who would like me to "Take just a candy and become ready for 36 hours of love!!" Thanks, dude, but some of us have to go to work.


Anonymous suthsc said...

And quite a coffee maker it was.. I still think the swearing part is all in your head. Has it meet with an untimely demise yet?

4/20/2006 3:52 PM  
Blogger Eclectchick said...

Okay, Calamity, you killed me with this one, ". . . so we'll see who's shaking whose head in a few years when she has no legs." Glad you're okay!! Great reports!

As for me, I've just been put on 3 days rest. Yup, nuthin' but walking the dogs for THREE days starting NOW! I'll be in a padded room by Sunday p.m.

4/20/2006 3:52 PM  
Blogger Sascha said...

You do have a lot ok drama--although not all of it's about crashing. In addition to a couple of crashes, there was the cracked frame excitement of last year as well as the stress fracture boot. That must be why I laughed so hard when you came over on Sunday.

4/20/2006 8:42 PM  
Blogger annie said...

Folks, what Sascha is referring to is when I went over to her house Sunday afternoon after the crash and she claimed that I crash more than anyone else she knows. The truth of the matter is that in the past year I have touched the ground twice compared to her three times, so this obviously makes no sense. But yeah, I guess I have bad karma or something. At least I get good stories out of it.

Scott, the coffee maker had a brief stint in our kitchen until the day that Nate forgot the "trick" and it dribbled coffee all over the kitchen, at which point I laid down the law and put the old coffee maker back. The hell week coffee maker now resides on the floor in the corner, for emergency use only.

Sucks about your 3 days, M. But it could be WAY worse. Like 3 weeks, or 3 months, y'know? Take it easy, let it heal. You'll be back to kicking ass in no time.

4/21/2006 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Stan said...

Padding is always good when you crash. The only time something soft saved me in a crash was when I broadsided a dog once. I went over the bars and landed on top of the dog. Nice and soft and furry. That was the way to crash.

4/21/2006 10:57 AM  
Blogger Eclectchick said...

ACK! What happened to the dog, Scott??

Thanks, Annie. :-) Hopefully, this little rest is all the hammie will need. (I've got my fingers crossed for luck)

4/21/2006 5:23 PM  
Anonymous annie's brother said...

Speaking of crashes, I had a rear blowout on my bike in traffic a few days back, and I thought I was going to lose some flesh. I got out of it somehow with my bike still upright, but I'm a lot more aware of my own mortality. Thanks for the advice, Stan; from here on out, I'll never ride anywhere without strapping a dog to either side of my bike.

4/21/2006 5:34 PM  
Blogger Bobster said...

another Caloi rider,
Hey make sure your hand/thumb deal isn't broken. I crashed in October and everyone told me including my GP that it was not broken, but then when I went to an orthopaedist three months later 'cuz it was still hurting the guy says "Yeah, it was broken, but now it's healed, but because you didn't treat it now you have arthritis building up at the break" Yay, how fun! He put me in a brace that I'm to wear at night and gave me glucosamine with chondroitin to take to rebuild the soft tissue. So get the film and get it checked by somebody who knows.

4/22/2006 7:39 AM  
Anonymous andy said...

Durand Rsce Report! Durand Race Report! Let us eat cake!!!

4/23/2006 9:01 PM  

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