The Poor/Pain House/Cave
The Pain Cave
I'll go with this one first since this is going to be a cloud over my whole day and, as it pertains to you, will explain why this post is going to be lackluster at best. I'm burning right now. Yesterday took much more out of me than I suspected at the time and the accumulated training stress of 3 weeks has me sitting at the mouth of the pain cave. I'm sure I have a week and 2 days of mojo left to work my way through to the end of it. But it's not going to be easy, especially topping it all off with a race.
Sitting on the train I feel like I've been dragged down the street tied to a snowmobile, without the pseudo-soft base of freshly fallen snow. Thinking is a bit of an effort today and I can only imagine how next week is going to feel.
But this is what it's all about. This is where you make your gains and why you set build periods. It allows you to dig a hole for yourself that your body can later overcompensate for and become stronger. And by setting the light at the end of the 4 week build tunnel I have something to look forward to, a rest week that end with the 4th of July celebrations when I can party like it's 1999 if I so choose to (Not really - alcohol is awful for you). Having that end point there allows you to get on the bike when you really don't feel like it.
So the question you might ask is, Is this fun? The answer is still yes even though I admit yesterday's ride was a tad much. That was a tough effort and enough things hurt that I can say that no, yesterday I pushed past my limits a bit too much. Other than that though, yeah, so far so good.
One upside is that I can, and do, eat as much as I want. It's actually fairly difficult to maintain a balance in my diet right now because I get so ravenously hungry at times I just eat whatever I can find fast. That's rarely a bag of carrots.
The Poor House
So I picked up my bike from the shop yesterday and I had to pay 371 dollars in exchange for the work they did. I can't begin to describe how astounded I am at this number. Like I said in a previous post, didn't I just buy this bike 14 months ago for 2 grand? How it is that the seatpost and headset are toast already? That's 145 right there. Throw in other odds and ends and it adds up quickly, as my stunned wife can attest to as well.
So no more bike shop for a lot of this stuff. Nothing against the bike shop of course, Gary and Tony are great guys. But I've now dropped 700 dollars into the bike since I bought it which is 35% of the price I paid for it. That's more than I spend to maintain my car every year, and that statement is not an exaggeration at all, whatsoever.
I have this mental block about tearing apart a new bike which is why I bring it to the shop. But at these prices I think that block just fell off my brain. None of this is rocket science it just takes time and experience. Tony said he had the bike on the rack all afternoon Tuesday which amounts to a lot of time for me, a guy with a full time job and a 14 month old daughter. Plus I don't have the experience to be able to disassemble, diagnose, and reassemble the bike that fast. And I don't have all the parts I need on hand to pull it all off. But at these prices I'm going to need to.
A perfect example is brake pads. Front and rear pads plus labor comes out to almost 60 dollars. Wow. And. Wow. Given that the team I ride for is suppose to be giving me 3 sets of free Galfer pads combined with the 4 minutes it takes to change them, that's 60 dollars that just magically disappeared from my wallet for no good reason. 311 is still a big number but it's much nicer than 371.
The seatpost breaking is inexcusable and should be covered by Specialized. Quite frankly they should be embarrassed to be using such a poorly engineered part. I have the old post and will ask the neighbor to weld it so it won't rotate anymore. The fact that it's actually 2 pieces which begs to eventually rotate is really bad engineering. I guess I really should contact the company and bitch about it and see if they float me a new post. Or I could wish in one hand and shit in another and see which fills up faster. So anyway 90 more dollars for a new Thomson post that I should not have been spending. 221 is still a big number but much better than 371.
The headset, well I'll take that one I guess. It seems that the quality of the frame is such that some of the parts are junk, the headset being one. Apparently it was wet and rusty, which is why I'll take it because yes, I have washed my bike with a hose. That 55 plus the labor is on me, to a point. Why anyone would build a bike without sealed bearings all over is a little confusing. I would have just plunked down the cash for the Chris King headset ($150, 10 year warranty) but this thread makes me thing the CK headset on the Specialized bike is a questionable idea. It seems that I'm lucky my bottom bracket (non-sealed) wasn't toast as well. So in that respect I guess 371 is better than 421.
Then there were little things like the spoke I replaced before the race, maintenance of both shocks, bending the disc back to true (as best he could). I did maintenance of the rear shock last year but didn't replace the seals. It's not hard I just didn't have the parts to put new ones in. If I'm smart I order a rebuild kit now so I'm ready to do it this fall or next spring. I'm a little daunted by the front shock though I suppose I shouldn't be.
Oh and the bushing on the rear mount of the rear shock has been replaced 4 times now. I'll let that statement speak for itself.
That's enough for now. It always feels good to vent and if either Gary or Tony are reading this, no offense to you guys it just blows me away to have a $700 yearly cost to maintain the bike. I do well enough at my job but that's impossible to keep up.
The Poor Cave
Where I will be living without the wife and daughter if this level of spending keeps up.
The Pain House
Jump up jump up and jump around!