Friday, April 18, 2008


I completely lose my focus in the taper. The cut back of the taper is a challenge for me because it messes with my ingrained running habit. I like to run between 40-50 miles a week. I don't like to run much over 65 miles in a week because the running becomes forced. At the same time I don't really like to go below 35 miles. I will accept a week of as low as 30 miles so long as I am doing lots of other stuff like cycling or swimming. Anything less than 30 miles a week is just uncomfortable for me as I have pretty much been a 30 miles a week runner since I started running 9 years ago.

But since I am balancing recovery, training and taper to gear up and perform well at Country Music Marathon next weekend I am trying to not worry so much about my numbers. I know I really have nothing to gain as far as fitness but do risk the potential of injury if I push too hard. My plan has been to balance the running with cycling and swimming. It is, or rather was, a good plan.

The problem?

Well, my bike exploded yesterday.

The other day I found it laying in the garage. One of the kids must have knocked it over. I checked it over--not really sure what I was looking for since my bike knowledge is negligible at best. I do know that my derailleur was already bent. James, the bike shop guy, asked me a while back if I had crashed or fallen. For the record I have never crashed or fallen (yet)--well, at least not on this particular bike. But the bike was once Lala's and when she clipped in she fell. A lot.

I explained all that to James and he said it would eventually need to be replaced but was fine for now.

And it has been fine.

Well, until yesterday.

I noticed immediately that it wasn't shifting great. I thought the chain might be misaligned. I even stopped and looked it over; poked at the chain, looked at the derailleur, touched the sprockets, got my hands a little dirty. . . But knowing all that I know about bikes I really couldn't see anything to adjust or that looked off. Just to be safe though I figured I would stick to the surrounding neighborhoods rather than hit the open road and risk running in to trouble in heavy traffic.

This proved a very wise decision on my part. I didn't really have trouble until I hit my first significant uphill--about 5 miles in. I was downshifting and all the sudden I heard cracks and popping and pings and knew that it couldn't be good.

The plastic shield (I guess that is what is) had shattered and some metal rings had popped off and were scattered all down the hill. I had to call Lala to come get me.

So . . . does anyone know how long and how much this is going to cost me to fix?

I am thinking the bike might be out until after the marathon. Sigh. Figures. Just when the weather was finally getting nice (read warm) enough to bike (read too hot to run). . .


  1. The part will set you back anywhere from $65.00 to $150.00. Just tell'em like I do... You don't need carbon :-) Labor shouldn't be too much. Unless you bike shop is like that nightmare place I took mine to, it shouldn't take more than a couple of days if they have the part in stock...

  2. That sucks. Although, how awesome are you for not falling when your bike exploded.

  3. Ugh,

    Most bike shops I've been in will rush things if you look pathetic enough. (ie, instead of taking a week, takes a day) I say tell them you're at high risk of taper madness and need it back asap! Maybe they'll take pity.

    I have never been able to taper. :( I have yet to do a true taper for anything I've done... but then, I don't "race" I just "run" the marathon so it doesn't tire my body out too much. I need to get over that so one day, in a galaxy far far away, I can do an Ironman. Still, mucho sympathy from this direction! I go crazy if I have to cut down my exercise too much.

  4. Front derailleurs: $54.95-129.95, rear derailleurs: $94.95-$350. Labor at most places is $10 minimum (unless they aren't busy and it only takes a second). I always go to All3 because I have bought two bikes from them and they never charge me labor.If it's a newer bike try taking it to where it was bought from, they will usually give you the best price on labor. You may want to call around and plan on dropping it off and then picking it back up sometime later.

  5. You should take the bike to James if you haven't already done it. I'm sure he will be able to fix it right up!