31 July, 2009

New Stablemate

It's all good. The new Tarmac Pro is on its way North as I type. Should be here and built up Monday or Tuesday for a fitting and then the inaugural ride.

I hadn't heard from my insurance firm since a fortnight ago when they advised I would hear from them within 10 business days. Monday was day 10 and when I left work I still hadn't had contact so was steeling myself for one of those intolerable sessions with a call centre voice recognition thingy.

When I got home I grabbed the mail and there was an envelope from the insurer- with a check, for the full amount less my excess (or deductible in Canada- at least the part of Canada we're from).

Right!! Off to the LBS and let's get this happening. And so it is. Mike, the owner of the shop, was pretty surprised that his quote had been accepted- said he usually gets pipped by bike shops in the major cities down south. And it got me thinking that I could have taken the money, gone on-line and bought the bike cheaper on eBay or at some nameless e-shop. Probably could have pocketed a fair chunk of change too. But that's not me- Mike does a lot for the cycling community here and he has down a lot for Dee and I when it comes to bikes.

So I'll let the boys at the LBS build it up and fit it to me and all of the other things that come with buying your bike from a person and not from a website- all of the minor adjustments that some of us less-than-mechanically-inclined cyclists have a tendency to turn into complete rebuilds.

And hopefully it will look like this.........

Cheers-ride safe

23 July, 2009

I'm Back.....well sort of...

Exactly a fortnight after my accident, I hit the road for the first time this morning. A good mate of mine loaned me a Ridley Damocles (thanks Tony) until I get my bike issue straightened out with the insurance people.

I was a bit unsure how I would go and I have to confess that for the first 5 or 6 km I was very leery of any vehicles coming from behind and approaching any intersections. I joined up with one of the regular twice-weekly rides down on the Strand and away we went. Again, I was a bit like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs- not wanting to get too close just in case something happened.

Another 10 km and I had settled in- the only issue was my level of comfort on the bike. Tony and I are pretty much of a size height-wise but our body structures are completely different. Tony is much longer through the torso and arms and has a long stem so I found the reach a bit much- going into the drops was never an option. I found the Ridley to be a bit heavier and stiffer than my bike- but then again it might just have been loss of fitness and the nerves of being on someone else's bike.

Back out for another ride in the morning. Who knows- I might even throw a hill or two into the mix.

Cheers- ride safe

19 July, 2009

tick, tock, tick, tock.....

I'm usually a very patient person. Sometimes it's a virtue- sometimes it's a fault.

In this instance, I'm unsure what it is. I'm still waiting for my insurance company to advise that they are settling my claim for my bike. "Yes", they said, "we have received your quote. We will obtain a quote from another dealer as well before we settle your claim. You should hear back from someone within 10 business days."

I understand how this works and all, but I really hope it doesn't drag on and on- and that I can get my replacement bike from my local dealer. I submitted a letter with my claim detailing the reasons why it would be better to deal with my LBS instead of a dealer in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne.

Yes, one of the Specialized dealers in the major cities can probably come in with a quote of a lesser dollar value. But I think there's a lot more value in what I have lost than just a straight replacement bike in a box.

I don't want my bike to arrive at my front door in a box. It wasn't in a box when I was hit by the car. It was fully assembled and fitted to my physique (after several sessions). I don't have all of the necessary tools and torque wrenches and specs to assemble the bike and I certainly don't want to void the manufacturer's warranty.

Assembly, fitting and service will come at a price for a bike purchased somewhere else. Those are the sort things that, I hope, the insurance mob will take into consideration.

I just want to get back on my bike.................stay tuned.

Cheers- ride safe

09 July, 2009

It Had to Happen.....

Today was a blackmark day for me. Headed out at 5:00am for my usual circuit with a couple of small hills thrown in- then off to pick up with one of the regular Tuesday/Thursday groups.

This morning they decided to choose a different route due to some local road closures as there is a big motorsport event in town. Given that a large number of the group riders are unfamiliar with the new route, I decided to play it safe and head out on my own circuit with a couple of minor detours.

It was a lovely morning for a ride- about 20C and just a slight breeeze. The moon was still up and cast good light when it emerged from behind the clouds. I had done about 30 km and was only three km from home and I'm cruising along nicely- there's a "T" intersection to my left with a "Give Way" sign for drivers approaching the intersection. I'm about 1/3 through the intersection when a vehicle approaches and the driver takes a cursory glance to the left and then without a touch of the brakes, drives straight into me. I had yelled a warning and tried to evade the impending crash by swinging to my right and halfway into the adjoining lane but it was too late.

People often say that things like this seem to happen in slow motion and this was the case. I saw the right-front headlight and grey bumper heading for and making impact with my left leg. I was then sliding along the bitumen on my left side while my bike flipped onto its right side and skittered ahead of me. Fortunately there was very little traffic on the road as I ended up in the second lane, almost in the median strip.

I managed to get myself off the road, give a once-over for broken bones and exchange details with the driver. I seem to have come out of it quite fortunately. A fair bit of road rash on the left side and back, a few bits of bark missing on my left leg and a left shoulder that is starting to stiffen as I type. It's off to the doc's for a full evaluation this afternoon.

I made my report to the police this morning and await follow up info from them.

As for the bike, it's at the LBS for an inspection/estimate. I know there is damage to the right shifter, saddle, my aero-bars (which I was not using this morning), rear derailleur and cabling. I will be replacing my helmet and my jersey and knicks. The frame will have a complete inspection and I have asked them to unwrap the bars and inspect them closely as well. I recently saw one of our club riders narrowly avoid a major crash when his handlebars failed in a race. He had an accident a week before but hadn't inspected the bars.

I'm sure the driver will be in for a bit of a shock when the estimate comes through. I'm hoping there is no debate with her coverage.

Cheers- ride safe- please.

05 July, 2009

B-b-b-b-b-buggah, it was cold!!

I didn't wait for my alarm to go off this morning- I had been awake since about 4:00 visualising what I had done with all of my cold weather gear. I thought I had gathered it all together before retiring last night but couldn't remember if I had my leg warmers (turns out I did).

So I got up at 4:15, turned on the laptop and fired up the internet to see just how chilly things were going to be on the race circuit this morning. The local airport was saying the temp was 10.5C- we're usually a couple of degrees cooler being further from the coast but I wanted to see what it was like at the top of the range.

The closest weather station at that altitude is Mingela- probably 50 km as the crow flies but pretty similar and the lucky number was 3.4C. So I put on my new dhb Merston full-length bib-knicks, a silk base shirt, a matching dhb long-sleeve winter jersey, a wool touque (or beanie for those in the Antipodes) and full finger gloves.

The temp at the start line for the TT up the range was a balmy 5.5. I went back to the car and pulled my armwarmers on under my jersey...I really dislike cold weather- I mean we're 19.5 degrees south of the equator- it shouldn't get that cold. It may have been a motivating factor for me as I think that was the fastest I've ever gone up Herveys Range- I really didn't want to be on the bike, in the cold, for any longer than was absolutely necessary.

This is a shot Dee got of me just as I hit the line at the top of the range.

Then it was off on the road race. There were only three of us in D grade this morning and we headed off about 15 minutes after completing the TT. The sun had made it above the trees and we were sitting at a balmy 4.5C- at least that's what our car told us. Yes- that says 4.5 with a little snowflake beside it just in case we weren't smart enough to come to the conclusion that 4.5 is not warm.

Good road race- I did manage to outsprint Damian from about 350 metres but I think on the combined times with the TT, he probably got me. Next weekend is a 40km TT and if the weather is this cold, it ain't gonna be fun!!!