Ironman Mont Tremblant

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I'm The Unluckiest Athlete In The World

On Wednesday (after spending Tuesday night in emergency) I took my bike in to a local bike shop (LBS).  I decided to get a compact crank with the mountains of Tremblant looming in less than 100 days.  I also decided to get a fit as I found I was squirming in my seat and always pushing back.  I skipped Wednesday's ride as I was still tired from getting back from the hospital after midnight and my foot was killing (gout, pseudo gout, turf toe, big toe capsule or whatever).  I scheduled my bike fit for Friday at 3:00 pm, that way the LBS would have plenty of time to order the crank and install it and have it for Saturday's four hour ride.  No problemo

On Friday, I showed up to my fit and I brought my power tap head as I was interested to see if any adjustments would yield more power.  I hoped on the bike trainer while the fitter watched me ride.  I looked down at my power tap and there were weird readings.  The cadence was running at 130 while there were no watts.  Then the cadence disappeared and the watts were reading 20.  Also there was no heartbeat (I guess I was almost dead).  I mentioned it to the fitter and he shrugged his shoulder and said the guys in the shop could take a look at it afterwards.  After an hour or so we were finished.  He had raised the seat and pushed it forward.  He also raised the handlebars, extended the aero bars.  Overall it felt ok but I was annoyed that I couldn't get any readings from the power tap to see if these changes increased the watts.  We wheeled the bike over to the mechanic where they fooled around with the power tap for about an hour.  I was annoyed but they finally seemed to have it fixed after changing the hub batteries (even though I changed them in February).

Saturday morning, Rom and the boys were riding but weren't leaving until 8:30 am.  Way too late for me as I started riding at 5:15 am.  I rode inside for 45 minutes, watching another episode of 24.  There were no cadence or watts reading.  Grrrr.  at 6:30 am, I took the bike outside and presto, the readings suddenly appeared but soon I was spinning at 140 revolutions per minute while my watts were at 20.  Then everything stopped working.  At this point, there was nothing I could do so I just rode.  I definitely noticed the difference the compact crank made as the same hills I climbed last week, this week I rode in a harder gear and faster.

Somewhere around the 2.5 hour mark, my right knee started to ache and my neck and back were killing me.  Odd, these were the exact complaints I had BEFORE the fit.  I looked down at my seat post and the tape that marked where the stem before the fit (I didn't get a chance to remark it) was exactly in the same spot.  Huh?  The new fit had raised by about 2 centimeters (one inch).   I stopped by the side of the road and checked the post.  Yup, it dropped back to where it was originally and with the handle bars about one inch higher, that explains the neck and knee pain.  Annoyed, I pulled out my saddle bag and emptied onto the the road.  No Allan key!!  CRAP.  No wonder I had so much room in my saddle bag and I was more than 40 km from home.  I considered calling for a pick up when two cyclists stopped and asked if I needed help.  HELL YA!!  I borrowed their Allan key and did a quick adjustment.  I thanked them and they took off however as soon as I jumped on my bike, I instantly realized that the seat was too high and the saddle nose was pointed up.  The boys didn't like that.  It was an uncomfortable long long ride back home.

As soon as I got back home around 10 am, I phoned the LBS and expressed my displeasure and wanted to be refitted that day.  They had a different fitter and arranged for 11:30 am appointment.  The only problem was that Vanessa had a dance recital at 1 pm so I had to be back at home.  The fitting only took about 30 minutes but checking out the power tap and another problem I discovered while I was riding was that when the fitter extended the aero bars forward, he stretched the cables so tight I could barely turn the handle bars left or right.  Duhhh!!  There was no way they would be finished in time so I agreed to leave the bike and come back around 5:00 pm.  That should give them plenty of time to fix and figure out all the problems, right?

Nope.  I came back down to the LBS around 5:15 pm they were done working on it but when I inquired about the power tap.......well they still couldn't figure out the problem.  By 5:50 pm (they close at 6:00 pm) the mechanic finally figured out to unwrap the protective cord and it appears the wire leading to the head unit is frayed.  Great.  Just order me another wire ASAP but they cost $100.  I toyed with the idea of converting this one to a wireless power tap but they said it couldn't be done.  Whatever, just order the wire.

So I was greatly disappointed in the LBS as they:
            1.  didn't tighten the screws in the seat after the fit
            2.  perhaps, broke my power tap.  It worked fine when I took it in
            3.  didn't taken into consideration, what would happen to the cables when he extended the aero bars

Not exactly the service I expected considering all the great things I had heard about this store.  The LBS that works with my coach offers us 10% discount but the service is brutal.  Twice I've ordered items, leaving my cell number and I have not received any calls back.

One thing about ex-coach is that he ran a LBS out of his garage and was very efficient.  The trouble was that he was always trying to sell stuff to you so you didn't know if it was something you really needed, or he was just trying to make a buck.

Oh yea, just as my gout, pseudo gout, turf toe, big toe capsule or whatever, is getting better, along comes a new foot pain.  My foot is swollen and painful to walk (in a different spot than before).  More anti-inflams.  Great, and because I'm on meds, I can't drink any beer!!!


  1. That sounds shit :(
    Though... I challenge you for the unluckiest triathlete in the world title ;)

    In the last 12 months I've destroyed a 5000 dollar bike, fallen off my mountain bike and wrecked my neck, falling off my TT AND road bike like three times each and done damange...

    I got an award for being a "Tri-hard" at our end of season ceremony on Saturday night. I am officially the clumsiest person they all have ever met :(

  2. Holy cow! I got frustrated while reading this post. I can definitely feel your pain. So do you have another LBS you can go to? Even if you have to take a whole day to travel to a more reliable fitter it might be worth it. With your injuries you surely did not need any more problems. Well, I hope things get better for you soon.

  3. Sorry to hear this from you my friend. That day is very painful for you. Hope everything runs smoothly and wish you a good health too. God Bless!