Monday, January 16, 2012

A New Wheel And Cramps

Mongo is sore and tired...but in a good way. I've managed to get in 150 miles over the past four days of riding. Two half centuries, a fast Hammerfest loop, and twenty miles of trail and singletrack have led me to this point.

I finally got my American Classic Hurricane rear wheel rebuilt after months of confusion and the ultimate tragedy. It was supposed to be done by master wheel builder, John Kovachi, who is a local legend and who had done several wheels for Mongo in the past. Unfortunately, he passed away suddenly at the end of last year. Ironically, I was using an old school, Kovachi built custom wheel as a substitute while I was waiting on my AC.

Anyway, the wheel was built by someone else and Mongo finally got it back early last week. I was eager to test it out and went on a long shakedown ride with "You Need A New Wheelset" Tom on Thursday. All was good until the way back when Mongo heard a symphony coming from the wheel. Long story short...All the spokes loosened up and threw the wheel out of true. I limped the final twenty miles back to the shop for a crude truing before I rode home and spent a good hour micro-truing the wheel properly.

On Saturday I decided to test my work on some climbs that would put stress on the wheel. The wheel was fine but Mongo wasn't. I was so eager to ride that I not only didn't eat properly, but I didn't bring enough liquids with me. I bonked early and often! The wheel only needed some minor tweaking afterwards and I felt pretty good about my "skillz" with a spoke wrench.

On Sunday, Mongo hooked up with teammates, "Cap'n" Clay, "Full" Gass, "World Traveller" Jason, and "Danimal" for a serious training ride. Fifteen miles of hills followed by thirty miles of 23+ mph speed work. It was lots of fun but exhausting. Mongo had a foreshadowing of what was to come when I started getting pre-cramps towards the end of the ride. Later that night I had such bad cramps in my crotchetal/thigh area that I think I squeezed out a tear or two due to the pain...but don't tell anyone. The wheel held up perfectly and didn't need any more work. Hopefully, there won't be issues down the line.

Today I didn't want to tempt fate with the cramps so I went on a moderate ride on the F600. Trail work and singletrack on a brisk Winter's day. Though I had no energy, it was good to switch things up and work some different muscles.

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