Friday, July 27, 2007

Power to Good People

Today was a day of begging and the coming together for the "Kathy Cause." The Kathy Cause started because I had a bum brake that no one could fix while I was racing in VT. I had to wait to get it "fixed" in Boston in between races but after I did that on Tuesday and took the bike apart and flew it to NC the brake went bunk again just in time for me head down the descent on my pre-ride of the NC course yesterday. Nice...... a squishy front brake that works at 20% of its capacity. Actually.....THAT is what probably what helped me clean the dh (downhill) when pre-riding because on a sketch dh you don't want to engage that front brake too much because you will do the superman over the handlebars.

So I convinced myself not to be worried about it. I told myself that the dh was only 7 minutes long per lap and who needs no stinking front break anyway on that particular dh. It would only get you into trouble really right? Plus I didn't want to put the effort into finding someone to work on it, take the bike to the venue, walk back to pick it up, risk getting caught in the rain, etc. It can get to the point sometimes that the effort to get something fixed isn't worth the actual getting it fixed part. But I couldn't convince my husband of that. I think he was a bit concerned with my lack of concernedness about the brake- can you say its the END OF the SEASON.

So today the Kathy Cause officially started as I looked for ANYONE who could please help me fix my brake before the race at 11am Saturday. I got denied a few times as I BEGGED for help from random mechanics in the venue area but those jokers who denied me were over shadowed in the end by the best group of people/cyclists that understand what it is like to wing it at these races without a mechanic or any kind of of help.

One of those people was a very nice mechanic by the name of Chris Magerl from Salt Lake City!! (If anyone needs a nice and personable mechanic for your team call Chris. He is wonderfully supportive and a hard worker. He even tries to make other racers lives about that concept? What a guy!!!) Chris was just the start of the nice people coming together for the Kathy Cause because I now needed a bleed kit for the brakes in order for him to work on it. Plus it still wasn't a for sure that he could help out because he has his own team to run and manage which I totally understood.

I knew Mike Brodrick and Mary M. run my brakes too so Mary got the weepy call from me. She is way too cool........ "It's going to be ok Kath. Don't worry, I will send Mike over there in a half an hour with the kit and everything will have itself worked out by our race tomorrow. It will be fine" She is the current National MTB Champion and 2004 Olympian and she is the coolest person ever. So here is now a fellow racer helping out another fellow racer. How cool is that? Goes to show that we have a GREAT group of racers that we get to race with on the National circuit.

The circus continues-I then ran into other people and team managers who also do this on their own and they also pitched in to help me. One gave me his # in case stuff hit the fan and the other said he would remind Mike and Mary about the bleed kit since they were staying right next to him (just my luck!!). That guy also was going to give me his front brake off his bike if the bleed didn't work. So again, everyone came together for the Kathy Cause and it was down right COOL. It really is nice to know you are NOT alone in this even when you are alone.

The Day is not over yet:

Kenda Tires and Kona Bikes helped me set up my tires on Thursday but the the front tire wasn't holding air. That is pretty much what you get when you are running non tubeless tires on a rim with no tube. So now it was Jed, a guy that we are sharing a condo with, to the rescue. He helped me with what turned into my science project for the evening.

For those non cyclists reading this (family, friends): When the liquid (Stans) that you put in your tires isn't sealing the porous holes of a tire that you are SUPPOSED to put a tube into (its lighter with Stans which is why we do it that way) there are very special and interesting things you need to do with the tires to get that to happen. Jed showed me the ropes, because NO people I have NEVER done this on my own......... and Jed showed me how. But you have to be patient with the project. This is where lather, rinse and repeat comes into play......take the wheel, lay it flat, put soap around the edges of the tire and rim, let it sit and wait 5 minutes then look for the weird suds to form which indicate where the holes are, pick up the wheels and get the Stans to those locations by shaking the wheel in a certain way, flip it over and let it sit. Repeat on the the other side, repeat on the first side, tear your hair out, look at your watch,wonder if you are ever going to be able to get the project done, repeat, repeat, repeat. Go to bed and wonder if its really going to hold air over night which it better because the race is tomorrow! Thanks to Jed and to everyone else who bent over backwards for me today! Karma is a good thing.

1 comment:

Mother Theresa said...

Thanks for making my life look simple!