I have Paul Simon's Graceland in my head, only the line is, I'm Going to Tucson! Tucson!
Tomorrow. Early. Melissa and Kathy are picking me up and off we go to the Logan Airport. Yippee! Thanks for driving us, Kathy! I'm going to triathlon camp with Melissa and Ange. We are all coached by Jen, and we get to meet her for the first time. VERY exciting. We are also going to meet a few blogger friends! The only downside is that I am quite concerned that I am going to get my ass seriously kicked. A climb up Mt. Lemmon is planned, plus a century on a different day--with transitions runs following each, of course, and then a few swims (in an outdoor pool OMG!) and a long run....
God help me.
Okay. SOOOO. In prep for the trip, Melissa made us an appointment at Landry's to receive a lesson in how to break down and pack our bikes. Aaron was assigned to help us. He had no idea what was to come....
We first broke down Mel's Cervelo. Her bike is clean and new-- and as I watched Aaron break it down I thought-- yes. I can do that. I can certainly do that. First the pedals, then the wheels, then the rear derailleur, the handlebars, the seat post. NO PROBLEM.
Then we started on my little black Felt.
She is not clean. She is not new. But she is still very cute. (This is what we have in common, methinks?)
In fact, another Aaron at the store (a different one--there are two) asked me, How old it this bike? To which I replied--Almost brand new! I got her in 2008. (Almost brand new! Born in '70!)
Oh. He paused. Well, she is not very new then, Mary. She is looking rather---. Not new.
So we start to take her apart. Yes, I just rode her this morning for 4 hours and it was rainy out and NO I didn't really have time to clean her. Just a little sand! crunch crunch crunch.
I clumsily take off her pedals.
They are looking worn. And old.
I take off and deflate the wheels. phsssttttt. deflate.
The derailluer. Crunch. crunch. Eww. Guess it's pretty nasty under there, huh? I insist on doing it myself. As Aaron looks on he says, Okay, now make sure you don't allow your hand to jerk into the teeth as you loosen it.
I guess I don't listen well?
I bled for awhile, and then Aaron had mercy on me and passed me the band-aids.
Then I picked up a towel, and Aaaron handed me the spray, and I began to try to clean the bike. Or--maybe not clean it. I simply tried to get some of the grit off. I have ridden over 400 miles in the last week and half (that's right, Jen!) and all of it outside. And it's March in New England.... Need I say more?
Aaron helps me take off the handlebars.
Then we move onto the seat post.
Melissa's seatpost had just slid right out of the frame. All clean and new and lubed.... (I'm not really being lewd here. Not really.)
ummmmmm. Not Mrs. Z. (Okay. We are not alike. Hear me? NOT!) I jest.....
That seat post was stuck in there so tight--NOTHING was going to get it loose. As we women customers looked on, Aaron pushed and heaved and .... nothing. He got his co-worker (is his name Russ? ) to help. No go. He brought in Pat. No luck. Mrs. Z was being stripped and she didn't like it. She would not let them take her seat post out and off.
I was told it was corrosion. She has corrosion all over the place, apparently, but the seat post was most grim. What is the cause? I asked.
Sweat. Drink. The Elements.
Piss. Melissa pipes in.
Finally, Aaron began to hammer the seat out. I kid you not. He had to put a piece of wood underneath the seat and hammer up. It took.... an hour? I don't know. Mel and I left before he finished.
Aaron is smiling here. He is smiling, but I'd like you to look carefully at his hand.
Yep. I think that's how he really felt. That finger is aimed right at .... me.
Poor me. Poor Mrs. Z. I put some miles on her. I've aged her. I've pissed and sweat on her enough so that her seat post is frozen in place.
I picked up my bike this morning.... Aaron spent hours lubing every part of her up. I'm trying to think of what to get him for a present for a thank you. ?
Hopefully, I will be able to put her back together again! See you in a few!