Sunday, December 20, 2009


Everyone knows someone who has driven 6 hours to a race or ride, only to realize they have forgot their shoes. Luckily they remembered the duct tape. They have shown up but left the bag of clothes in the driveway, two states away. Their choice, t-shirt and cutoffs or a pink kit two sizes too small. A freak accident breaks the derailleur hanger and they have to 'share' one for the next three days with someone in a different category because everyone within a thousand mile radius is sold out.

Fortunately most problems are slight miscalculations and less obvious than riding a crit with a TT helmet on.

I hitched a ride to the ill-fated Giro di Jersey with the good folks from the NEBC men's elite team. I rode with NEBC before Embrocation and really benefited from their elite program.

On to the hacks.. GdJ featured a TT as the 3rd stage. I brought some clip-on aerobars for the Gaulzetti since the Pegoretti TT bike was still waiting on a few things. I also brought a shorter stem that 'optimized' my position. Unfortunately the stack height of the new stem was much lower than the previous stem and I was without any extra spacers. Whoopsy. It was ok though, a roll of electrical tape is just about the perfect diameter to use as a spacer.

After everything was tightened down I just removed the top cap and electrical tape.

Also, at the GdJ, our hotel reservations got messed up and we ended up with one big bed instead of two smaller ones. With the addition of a cot and 7 bikes in the room, there was no floor space left. I think I promised I wouldn't ever put this on the internet, oh well.

Surprise! Camera flash!

When traveling to races, eating out can be one of the most expensive parts of the trip. Unfortunately few cheap hotel rooms come with a kitchen. Most if not all have a coffee maker though which can double as a pasta cooker, observe:

Use enough water for about half a pot of coffee. Add pasta to the pot and brew. Let it sit for like 10 or 15 min depending on your tenderness preferences.
*Word of caution, about coffee pots. I was later discouraged to use coffee makers in hotels because apparently people use them to cook up meth. Be careful I suppose.

Our next example jumps ahead to cross season. Adjusting your brake pads to get the proper balance of toe in versus fork chatter can take hours in the basement workshop. Got an hour before your race and new pads? Get out the leatherman and cut down the back of the pads until 'proper' toe in is achieved.

You will probably need to get new pads for the next weekend of racing after this method. Be sure to adjust the next set properly so you don't blow through another set of new pads.

Finally, this is not so much a hack as a whole bunch of awesome. Lights are recommended for night time cross racing and LED's are cheap so why not stick a whole bunch on your downtube!

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