Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Most Specialest Chain Ring Bolt in all the World

Before every race I go through a period where I hate my gear.  I fret that my sneakers will give me blisters, my bra will chafe and my water bottle is too big.  Being a triathlete brings this to a whole new level of angst - my wetsuit, my pedals, my cleats.  In the past 10 days, I've stressed out about them all.

The one exception is my bike; I love my bike.  Unfortunately, it's been an endless source of hassles for poor Steve.  When I said I wanted a triathlon ready mixte, I thought I was asking Steve to find me a something unique, but within the Earthly realm.  What I didn't know was that it would be an endless pursuit of esoteric bike parts from thirty years ago - special cranks shipped here from France, special everything.  I wasn't just asking Steve to find me a unicorn.  I was asking Steve to find me the one unicorn that breathes rainbows and farts out glitter.  And he did it.

Last night, at 10pm he was doing his final check on the unicorn-bicycle.  We needed to give the bike to the transport company today at noon.  I'm not good at bike maintenance and Steve was dutifully making sure every item was in perfect working order.


He was ratcheting down a loose nut on my spectacular Stronglight chain ring and the bolt broke in half.  This is a Very Special bolt and the bike wasn't safe to ride without it because the chain rings might...I don't know, self destruct or immolate or something.  Steve was devastated because he knew that bolt was pretty much irreplaceable.

Emergency emails to our local bike shop owner followed. (Heart you Velocult!)  In the end, Steve had to rip apart one of his favorite bikes to give me a safe and suitable crank for the big climbs.  Velocult was nice enough to do some final emergency work on my bike so we could meet the transportation company deadline.

We made the noon bike transport with minutes to spare.

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