Thursday, August 28, 2008

Don't Piss Off the Help / Half Fast Velo Cross Practice

Tonight I was able to switch shifts with someone else at work so that I could finally go to one of Brianero's cross practices with his Half Fast Velo comrades. About 10 minutes before I was going to get ready to go and while I was finishing up the last bike build I was going to do for the day some moron came in wanting his tube replaced in his tire. He was still dressed to the nines in his T-Mobile Team kit even though he came in with his wife and kid. He looked like an older Tom Cruise, but a little taller and with just a bit of a gut. His hair sort of looked like this...and for some reason this guy has rubbed me the wrong way the couple of times that he has come in. He looks like a dork and dresses like a dork and apparently acts like one.

He must have gotten a flat while riding and then called his wife to come get him and then they all made the trek to the shop so that he could get his precious tire fixed and then continue riding.

I didn't want to mess with it. And I told him so. I was short on time and we don't always have time to drop what we are doing in the shop to help everyone out. For ways to get help see the following article. This guy was an ass. I told him that I would be happy to let him use our tools so he could change his own flat. After all, when one has a full Dura Ace carbon bike, one would assume that he could do so. But he said that he "preferred not to do it himself." He said that it shouldn't take very long to do it, so surely we could just help him out really quick. I said something to the effect that his man-card might have to have a corner cut off it he needed someone else to change the tube for him. I said this in jest and chuckled as I said it. I figured that if I was going to have to change the blasted tube I should get to have some fun while doing it. Then he said something about who was the one getting has hands dirty for who--basically insinuating that I was his bitch. Sorry for the language here, but I am getting a little worked up just thinking about this guy. I was about to say no, but I could tell that Rashelle--who is the assistant manager now--would have done it herself just to be rid of the guy. So rather than have her do it, I told the guy if he would take off his rear wheel and set it aside I would do it for him before I left. He just sort of mumbled something and walked off without doing anything and left the wheel in the bike for me to take off.

Fine. I changed the tube. It took me 3 minutes. It cost him 15 bucks. But the adjustment that I made to his seatpost--lowering it about 5 millimeters while I had it back in the shop--free. Turning his bars askew about 1 to 2 degrees from off center--free. I saw him ride off knowing that the time it would take that jerk to fix his bike, centering the handlebars and to figure out what the proper height was for his saddle (if he ever notices at all), would be at least as much time as I spent changing his blasted tube. He rode off without noticing what was done. At least not yet.

Lesson: Don't mess with those that do service for you. Being a jerk may cost you more than just money. This was just my version of spitting in the food.

Sure I can be a jerk, too. Just don't screw with me when I am grumpy (due to still waiting to hear back about a couple of jobs) and feeling stressed out. I am cool as a cucumber to everyone I deal with at the shop if they are just civil. Mess with me and it is sure to cost you, possibly in some very passive aggressive and juvenile way, but it will cost you nonetheless.


As mentioned above I went out and practiced with some of the guys from the Half Fast Velo team. Of the guys on the team, I had only known Brianero previously, although I recognized a couple of guys from cross races in past years. Brianero introduced me to all of them a couple of times although I am really bad with names. I think I remember 3 names out of the 8 or 9 people that were there.

We rode in Custer Park. It a nice little park where the people apparently don't mind a bunch of freaks on bikes tearing around all over the place, criss-crossing over the grassy slopes, and dismounting and running over the barriers while they have soccer practice or are relaxing on blankets making out. The course was pretty fun, a good balance of straight aways with twist and turns and off-camber stuff.

We did a warm up lap, then two fast laps and took a break, then 5 laps and a break, and then most did another two laps. I only did one last lap because I thought I was going to pass out. I had no water (left my water at the shop) and I needed some bad. I was a little light headed. So I wussed out. I didn't feel too bad about it though. Others passed on the last couple of laps entirely or also bailed before the last one like I did. During the fast laps I was last. Part of it was that I was confused about which way to go and also I just wasn't warmed up. My legs just felt like crap and I wasn't breathing well. During the 5 lap sequence I was feeling pretty good. I didn't go all out and sort of hung with a couple of guys. I was at the back but there was a guy or two or three behind me. It was obvious that on straight aways I suffer more than some. On the twisty stuff I could gain some ground back. At least there is something I am moderately good at--the technical stuff I could hold my own.

A couple of things were evident after tonight riding:

Brianero is fast. At least once he just zipped by me like I was standing still. At least I know what Master A's are like now.

I am stronger than I was last year. I at least sort of hung in there with some of the B's and Master B guys. I don't know if any of them race C's or Master C's like me.

I really enjoyed riding with these guys even though I didn't get to spend much time talking. It would be nice to be a part of a team.

I am going to try and continue to make it out to their practices for the next couple of weeks. They do two of these per week and they mix the course up each time. I will try to make it to one of them each week.

Anyway, thanks for the invite Brianero, I had a blast.


Brianero said...

Now why wouldn't you go full blast? That's the point of a practice - an emulation of the real effort, not a crude approximation. You know what you need to get your ass in gear? Cowbells!!

Mr. Flynn said...

Perhaps I should have said that at any given time I didn't go full blast. When you add up the effort at the end I was toasted. As I wrote at the end I was light-headed. Actually to the point of nausea on the drive home.

Plus I wasn't sure exactly how much I had in the tank or how much I should expend with a triathlon just two days away.

Brianero said...

Wise. Good luck this weekend. Tri'z are a strange thing and may the tri god bless you with at least a ten minute increase on last year.