Monday, June 21, 2010


Over the weekend, we went to Sioux Falls to a family (my wife's) reunion. This was a snap decision to attend this reunion on my wife's part. Initially when her dad told her about it, she said she had no reason to attend, and her father assumed she wouldn't attend anyhow. But then, after thinking about it, she decided to attend, albeit slightly last minute.

So, trying to figure out how to get some riding in while there, and I knew I wouldn't be riding a mountain bike (it is Sioux Falls for Christ's sakes), so I did some research on Mapquest before heading out there. I found some nice, easily accessible country roads that I could spin out on for a ways then double back. Cool...all is not lost for riding for the weekend.

Saturday morning I get up, have a little breakfast, and take off for my ride, though it was later than I wanted to go. First let me tell you, Sioux Falls streets and road have to be the biggest piece of shit roads I've EVER been on. Holy shit they suck. Really. Cracks and pot holes big enough to swallow a toddler on a tricycle. I had to actually rappel down into one to retrieve a dropped water bottle. Fucking atrocious.

Anyhow, I did a 2 1/2 hour ride before we had to start getting ready for the ass-grabbing session with people I've never met before and will probably never see again. Actually, after I got out of town a ways, beside the fact that the shoulders were fairly narrow, the roads were decent. So, besides a big assed garbage truck coming far too close to me, the ride was uneventful and a good one.

Sunday, I got up a little earlier to go. Understand that Sioux Falls is in a different time zone than I am, so for me I was up REALLY early, especially for a Sunday morning where we went out the night before to see an old friend from high school that calls Sioux Falls home. Anyhow, I roll out on a different route, with a lot better shoulder. I have a tailwind, so I am clipping along at a really quick rate. Riding mostly uphill and I am keeping an average speed over 17 mph, pretty quick for me. I think to myself the ride home might suck a little bit. I am also under a bit of a time constraint as we have to attend a brunch at 11:00, so I know that I can't go out too far, especially taking the wind into consideration.

So, the plan in my head was to roll out for an hour, turn around and ride back. As I was nearing the hour mark, I start scanning ahead to find a suitable turn-around point, grab a quick bite and raise my seat a bit. At a little gravel road, I pull over, get out a Clif Shot Block, throw a couple squares in my mouth and get an allen wrench out and raise the seat up. I didn't have to raise the seat up right then. It was just a tiny bit (a few millimeters) too low, so if I didn't raise it right then, I would have been OK, but being the anal rider I am, I decided to do it.

I don't know if the Clif Blocks were steroid flavored, but as I am tightening the bolt down, I hear/feel a *SNAP* and my hand goes flying away from the bike. I think the allen wrench broke. Nope. It was the binder bolt. SHIT! I look around a little bit to see if I can find the head to back the broken remains out of the collar and do a make shift fix to get me home. No dice. Now what? I sure as hell am not riding 17 miles home, against the wind, standing up. So I decide to call my wife to come pick me up. I get voice mail. Shit. Her phone is in the truck on the charger, so even if she wanted to hear it ring, she couldn't. Uh oh. Not good. I don't have my father-in-law's number. I don't have my sister-in-law's number. I just might be riding the 17 miles home standing up.

So, I call my mother-in-law in Florida to see if she has my sister-in-law's phone number or if she call her for me, which she said she would. I then call my mom in Colorado to see if she can look up my father-in-law's number for me, but my mom is at work, but she says to call my sister. I do, but of course, she doesn't answer. Then I call my brother (also in Colorado) and he starts looking it up, but can't find it. No listing. I feel myself slipping into a bit of despair knowing that I'll have to start riding home.

As I am talking to my brother, my call waiting started beeping. It was my wife. HURRAY! After a quick logistical conversation, she says she is on her way, and I start pedaling towards home. A couple of miles later, we hook-up and I am rescued, and rescued in time too as we are not late for brunch.

When I got home-home last night I went to fix my bike. I get the broken bolt out and find a proper replacement bolt. I put everything back together and as I am tightening it down (more gingerly this time) the entire seat collar snapped in half, so at least I know it was ready to go.

Even though I had to get rescued, I had some good rides in while there. I just know now to never adjust my saddle height when I am out on a ride. At least if my wife's phone is on charge.

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