6.29.2005

Yesterday was a bad day.

The air guys came over and were extremely apologetic about the screw up. They worked on the unit and got it all fixed and such, and even offered a big credit on our bill for the new unit to help cover the damages. While this was nice of them, it still didn't stop the fact that, after they left, I had mildewed carpet and plaster laying on the floors on 2 levels of my house.

I didn't feel like dealing with it right then, so I retired to my PS2 (something I RARELY get the chance to do, but since I was off work to handle the air business, I figured "What the hell"). I settled in behind my brand new Logitech Driving Force Pro wheel and fired up Gran Turismo 4 and smiled as I relaxed for a fun afternoon of simulated driving.

I began racing down the streets of Italy during Special Challenge 1, hoping to win and get a brand new Cadillac Cien (concept car, super fast, blah blah). Buildings and barrier walls are flying past me at an incredible rate as I slide around the blind corners and cobblestone embankments of one of the most challenging circuits in the game. Just as I'm taking a blind corner and attempting to slide between a pizzaria (very accurately rendered, mind you) and my competitor for the lead near the end of the 2nd and final lap, it happened.

My pedals died.

This sent me into the wall and lost the race for me. Now, I'm not sure if everyone else is like me in this regard, but I've found throughout my life that, regardless of how mad you were before you relaxed, and regardless of how relaxed you were able to become after being mad, if something infringes upon that relaxation, you become twice as angry as you were before. And I was. I was twice as angry. Grrrrr + Grrrrr.

I tried everything humanly possible to troubleshoot the pedals (which are only 4 days old) and came to the conclusion that they were, indeed, dead. So I gotta return those and get new ones, and the very last thing I felt like doing was allowing CompUSA to inflict itself upon me as it always does during the return process.

I'm left standing in my bedroom with a body full of rage... And I figure, the only way to effectively get rid of it all is to go out and hop on my bike and convert rage to speed. So, that's what I did. I got all decked out, tuned up my bike and made sure it was ride-ready, and took off.

Within 30 seconds, I was flying up the first hill out of my neighborhood at around 18mph (not bad for a seven degree hill) and just started pounding the pedals as hard as I could. It wasn't long before I'd reached the halfway point of my ride 10 miles in. Normally, when I check my time, I'm sitting right at 35 - 40 minutes, or 15 - 16 mph for the ride - which isn't TOO bad, considering the number of hills and their severity in that area.

But today, I'd reached the halfway mark at just under 30 minutes, meaning I was putting in a 20mph day - INSANE! I was destroying my previous record of 18mph for this ride! I doubled my efforts. I wanted the carbon frame of my Trek 2300 to know that it was being pushed to its limits. As I rounded the downhill corner at the 16 mile mark, the unthinkable happened.

I blew out my front tire.

Now, this isn't normally too terrible to recover from, but I was doing about 40mph downhill and turning a corner. It took everything I had to shift my center of gravity to the back wheel before I'd flipped over the handlebars and ate asphalt. I got off the bike and grit my teeth - not a big deal, right? Change the tube, pump it up, get on with the ride. Right? Right.

I hit my kit and reached in for the spare tube... And it hit me. I'd never changed the kit over from when I went mountain biking Saturday, so all I had was a mountain bike tube (which is about 2x wider than a road tube. Bottom line - It dunna' work dat way). So I had to foot it 4 miles home with a bike on my back. And wouldn't you know it? That's when it decided to start raining.

And in case you need a description for that - Walking on asphalt for 4 miles in wet socks and bike shoes - blister-o-rama.

Yesterday was a bad day.