• Bloomer Park, Rochester Hills, MI

  • Racing the Provincial's Crit 2014

  • Forest City Velodrome - London, ON

  • Larkenville Challenge, Buffalo, NY

  • Winning the Sprint at the ForestCity Velodrome

  • Track Nationals 2014: Keirin

  • Track Nationals 2014: Points Race

  • OCUP #1: Feb 2015

It's been a "fun" couple of weeks. I must say, I know challenges. Somehow, I managed to pick myself up and keep going. I'm recalling the "fun" I have had over the last 4 years of trying to learn how to race a bike. I think anyone else might have quit some time ago, yet I keep at it.

I drove out to Calabogie with my Vitess Red bike that I had a whole 4 weeks, and managed to get into a crash in which I had no change. The frame on my Vitess got smashed AGAIN. This is something like the fourth time that bike has had the frame damaged - I should mention, that it is not fault of Vitess. When a bike is run over by another bike, it's usually toast. I should know. That has happened to me too many times.

So, let's recount the B.S. I endured:
  • 2009, I started riding, brand new Giant road bike. On the D'Ornellas Century ride to Niagara, my bike got ripped off at Brock University. I had to ride in the van on the way home.
  • That bike was replaced with a new Giant. An upgrade. I had it two weeks, and I went over the bars in the Midweek Crit. I finished the race, but the bike didn't. I landed in the hospital with a broken right femur and the frame of my giant was toast. It was run over by the guy behind me. $2500 for a crash replacement. It took me 6 months to learn to walk again, and this year (yes, THIS YEAR 2012) I finally completed physio to remove any weakness in my right leg. That was 5 months in the making over the winter 2011/2012. Thanks Lori at FITS Toronto.
  • in 2010, I bought my new Vitess. The demo bike make it so I could make it through the rollers on the Donut Ride. That one lasted until Oct. when on the donut ride, the derailleur got caught in the spokes, got ripped off, and cracked the frame. Vitess frame number 1 done. I suspect the derailleur hanger got bent on the way back from my France trip in Sept and I never noticed it. $800 to get the frame repaired in California.
  • 2011, I raced the Vitess in the Tour of Bronte. Something in the road caught my wheel and I went down in the first lap. Yes, the FIRST LAP. The guy behind me ran over my bike (see a pattern here?). The frame was toast AGAIN. This time, it would be $1500 to get repaired. I opted to get a crash replacement and a red one at that.
  • June 2011, my new Red Vitess was complete. I rode it all summer. Raced it too. Then in the end of August, something happened on the way to my famed Grand Fondo recon ride. The seat stay was cracked - of course, I found this out after getting dropped from my ride, and riding 8 hours with some nice ladies at the back of the pack. The brakes were rubbing it appears the entire ride. The best I can tell is someone backed into my bike on my car carrier. I sent this frame out to get repaired.
  • March 2012, I got the Vitess back. I won't get into why it took that long, but Julien at Vitess gave me a great deal on the repair.
  • April 2012 - I crashed in Calabogie. Vitess bike trashed (again!). This time, I swore never to race an expensive bike again.
  • May 2012 - Chinese bike was built. I raced it in Springbank. The brakes started to stick on the first lap. I noticed this a hour AFTER the race. I had ridden the bike for 3.5 hours the day before without issue and there weren't anyany problems during warm up. However, I found the problem, and fixed it. I raced the midweek crit without issue.

I have had little luck with bikes. However, now that I have a cheap frame and a backup frame, I will probably have it for a long time. No crashed and no scratches. On the plus side, I've learned how to repair/rebuild bikes because of the numbers of frames I've trashed.

I suspect anyone else would have just thrown in the towel and given up. But, I intend to be on the podium....I want to say I want to win all costs, but my realistically speaking, I have a limit on my credit card.

So, when I started Learn to Race at Midweek some 4 years ago and the coach started on the first night with "YOU WILL CRASH. GET OVER IT". He wasn't kidding.

Perseverance is something I guess I do well. I just hope my luck starts to change.

If you are racing and are afraid of crashing, time to take up another sport - perhaps something safe like bird watching. YOU WILL CRASH. GET OVER IT. I have.

 

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