So this is my last year as a Junior bicycle racer (18+ under), and I’m going off to college next year, so I figure I’ll make as much out of it as I possibly can.
The Bicycle Tour of Colorado came up, and I really wanted to go, so I got my parents to pay the ~$400 to go on it, worked ahead in my EMT-B class, wrapped up commitments around here, put a weeks worth of clothes in bags, my bike in my mom’s car, and headed off to Colorado Springs to begin my little journey.
Sunday: Long+difficult=fun ride. Good day.
Monday: After 2000+ faithful miles, by rear Conti Tubular develops a stress puncture. $60 Whatever, it was on the way out anyway. I was still able to ride to the top of Mt. Evans on a very cool mechanics own private Rolf Vector Pro. Thanks. Got sagged into Idaho Springs, replaced it with a Vittoria Rally from my luggage.
Tuesday: My left SPD cleat loses a bolt. I can’t unclip. I almost fall. Free repair w/ longer screw (many thanks, dude). Different mechanic assures: it’s good now.
Wednesday: Rest day. Remember the rest day and keep it Holy. Thou shalt not ride over Vail pass and back for good scrambled eggs. Crazy fucking ex-Marine. I wake up at 10. Read through entire Economist in one sitting.
Thurday: Cleat breaks again. Another screw. Another free repair. Again: muchos gracias.
Friday: Climbing up a 12% grade to Royal Gorge Bridge, I begin to hear a weird sound from front wheel. Pull over on bridge. FUCK! I broke a spoke. Nix that, I broke a hub. On a pair of Zipp 440’s (supposedly quality wheels), I sheared off a section of metal holding that spoke in place. I broke a Zipp hub. What… the… fuck…? Weird. Hub: at least $50 for a good one, $100 for compirable plus at least $50 for a wheel re-build. (One labor I can’t do myself)
Saturday: Cut off one day early from BTC for Mt. Evans Hill Climb race. Borrow a bike from my dad’s friend w/ Campy Record. Race goes well, but only to Echo Lake. I decide to ride to summitt for fun. I reach the grade beyond Summitt Lake, stand up to stretch for a few seconds and then: POP! Oh shit, I broke a chain. I have trouble getting unclipped fast enough. I almost swerve into an uncoming Explorer, but disaster is avoided. I pull over to side of road and find that the chain became caught in the cassette and the rear derailleur is still bolted on but torn in half, hanging by a thread of carbon fiber on one pin. It’s not even my bike. I haven’t even been able to reach the guy yet and explain. Campy 10 speed chain: $34.99. Campy Record 10 speed rear derailleur: $199.99.
Mileage: 407 miles
Week total for maintenance/repair: $394.98.
Bicycles no longer ridable: 2
Pissed off people: 3 (myself, bike owner, dad)
Hmmm… all of this comes to a mere $20,538.96 a year if I keep it up.
I’m giving up on cycling.
The reason that I truly find this so frustrating is that all of these events beyond the tire are rare. You can break spokes and break chains and crash bikes, but breaking a rear derailleur? A hub? Bizarre. And all of these things are from companies with excellent reputations for quality and durability. I sincerely hope that both Zipp and Campagnolo help me out with both of these incidents.