Friday, March 27, 2009

In the Middle

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.... Why working in a bike shop can suck.

Right now I am in the midst of a long streak of consecutive days spent at "Circle P." 9 days in a row to be exact. Then I have two days off. Then I work a day or two and get off for another 2 days. It could be worse. But lately, work has not been particularly fun.

There's lots to do, not enough people to do it and people are coming down from corporate. They are coming down to pass judgment. And even though there are a great many things to get done, I only have so many hours each week. A couple of guys have put in time off the clock to get a few things done. I won't do that. For one, I am working for a large corporation--one that is trying to make as much money as they can. They only let us have so much payroll which is based on how much money we bring in. I have no issues with this. But I am not sure that this hourly budget is realistic. I don't like feeling like I am not getting my work done. So my mental conversation usually ends up with something like this, "I will do the best I can during the time I am scheduled. I will not work anything extra unpaid, this is NOT a charity. If after learning what has to been done and doing my best I cannot do what they want me to do during the time I am scheduled then they need to find someone else." Screw 'em. At least that is what I try to say to myself to releive what stress I feel. The weird thing is that stress is coming from a stupid bike shop, not even the practice of law.

I am willing to be taught more efficient ways to do things. Not that others know too many faster ways to get things done. It gets to be where helping customers is a burden. Customers--which pay for me to be there--are a total bother lately. I have all sorts of crap to do (such as rolling out our new way of pricing everything in the store and then the next sale set up has to be completed) so that when Mr. Newbie comes in and wants to know what the differences between a $30 helmet and a $200 helmet I just want to give a flippant answer to blow him off so that I can get back to other matters. That is not the way it is supposed to be.

Oh, and then while at work I start thinking about Mr. & Mrs. Soandso. I am doing a little bit of legal work for them. They need their estate planning work done, but...I really don't know what I am doing. But, I can fake it pretty well. There are lots of resources so that I don't screw anything up, luckily. I am pretty good about learning on the fly. Law school teaches you how to figure stuff out, thankfully. It doesn't teach you how to hang your own shingle though. Lots of little stuff to get done (and here I sit writing a blog entry). It will be nice to start broadening my horizons to things other than the bike shop as more legal work comes in. It will be even better when I can disentangle myself from the shop completely.

More stuff to do, too. I still gotta get my website up and other law firm related materials together. I have registered my entity with the state. I feel good about that. Now I just need to get the federal and state tax stuff set up and blah, blah, blah...the list goes on.

And then there is this little triathon in June I am training for...and Reach the Beach...and I plan on doing STP in one day....

I must be crazy. Did I mention I have 3 boys and a wife at home too?

ON THE BRIGHTER SIDE, Sacha White is Gathering Fodder for PackFodder:

Packfodder Jim came into the shop today. When he comes in it is sort of like recess. I get to take a brake from crappy bike stuff at least for a little bit and talk about cool bike stuff--like cyclocross. Jimbo has a Vanilla on the way. He just got done with the fitting and boy am I jealous, but not in a bad way. I am sure it is going to be cool. I imagine tubes and other bits and pieces have or are going to be ordered by Sacha very soon. End of May is the due date I understand.

A friend of mine at the shop builds frames, Neil is his name. I have talked about him previously. He sent me pics of some of his works in progress. Really nice lugged steel goodness. My drawing is done, but there may be a couple of tweaks. I am jealous about that frame, too. What? Why I am I jealous when the frame is going to be built for me? Well, because I would love to be able to have the time, space, money and ability to do it myself. That would just be sweet to "roll your own" so to speak. Nevertheless, I am geeked. Neil does great work.

In Other News: I AM TOO POWAHFOOL (must be spoken in a Schwarzenegger-ish accent)

A week ago I noticed my rear wheel on my Voodoo was out of true. So I trued it up. This week I broke a spoke in the rear wheel. Twice. The wheel is built with DT Revolution spokes on the non-driveside and DT Supercomps on the driveside. I broke one of each. Some people might say that I broke them because I am too fat. Or I am not a smooth rider. Or that I am doing things that this custom-built 1500 gram wheelset was not built to do.

They might be right.

But I choose to believe it is because I am too strong. The Voodoo is a singlespeed and I believe that because I am just so SO POWAHFOOL and put so much torque on the wheel that I am pulling the wheel apart when I rip up hills with my 42/16 gear set up. I HAVE TOO MUCH POWAH.

Eye witness accounts of my strength support this theory. About a week and a half ago I noticed some significant creaks coming from the crank/bb area. Neil looked at it, but couldn't find anything. After everything was cleaned, lubed and tightened to spec' I went out to the parking lot of Circle P to see if I could get it to make some noise. I put on my ol' Sidis and started hammering.

Neil and Lane came out to observe. After I tried differing amounts of power I couldn't hear the noise anymore, thankfully. Then I really got after it, just to make sure. I was just pumping as hard as I could from nearly a dead stop. The acceleration coming from my legs felt pretty good that day. Both Neil and Lane were surprised at how slack I could get the chain to show as I hammered out of the saddle. My single speed has a drop-out adjustment to tension the chain correctly. I don't have the chain too tight, but it is not superslack that is for sure. When looking at the bike from the side you don't see the chain sagging much if at all. But they said that as I was pedalling the chain would become so slack at times that it looked like I needed a derailleur on it to take up the slack. Their theory was that I was getting a great deal of frame flex. Either I can really twist that chainstay or otherwise flex the frame so that the distance from the dropout to the center of the bb is shortened and thus the chain slackens.

I thought this was an awesome thing. I think I made some sort of gorilla-like grunt (a la Tim Allen on Home Improvement) after they were expressing their dismay at my POWAH display. I have TOO MUCH POWAH! Not even a steel frame, and one that is nearly 5 pounds heavy can contain me. Kick Ass!

Other evidence that I have TOO MUCH POWAH.

I once broke a Ritchey WCS Carbon crankset. Both sides of the crankarms had fractures near the pedal threads.

I broke an FSA K-Force (Older ISIS-style) crankset. I broke the aluminum spine in the driveside arm during the final sprint a cross race a couple of season ago. Bitchin'.

I broke a carbon saddle during a cross race this past fall....wait. I don't think that proves I have TOO MUCH POWAH. I think that just shows I am a fatass with no finesse. Move on please.

I bought new Sidi shoes last weekend. They looked way PRO! All black and shiny. So what did I do? I shaved my legs for the first time since probably October. It is spring time after all. And what goes better with new Sidis than shaved legs and a nice kit. I don't have any pro-kits but I do have some nice Pearly Izumi bibs and jerseys. I have actually ridden with bibshorts two or three times so far during the past couple of weeks. Anyway, After shaving my legs I was WAY impressed with my PRO look. After the long winter, my legs emerged ripped after so much time on the singlespeed. If I do a Schwarzenegger-style pose with my legs they look totally ripped. And they are all natural, too. No designer drugs or doping here (Just a dope). All sorts of muscle definition exists that I have never seen before. Freakin' Awesome!

Again, I know that there are guys out there with legs that are way more defined than mine. But for a guy that is still slightly overweight, eats WAY too much Taco Bell, and generally never rides over 30 miles a day, it was pretty impressive.

Conclusion: I AM TOO POWAHFOOL. (and too fat, too ungraceful, and way too vain for how ugly I am).

Have a good weekend everyone!

1 comment:

jimbo said...

Awesome post! I cracked up, you too much powah! Yes, Vanilla is coming if I don't annoy or irritate Sacha too much with my geekness. Stoked to see the Neil built lugged goodness with horizontal drops! Love the SingleSpeeds... BTW, ran again today, raining cats and dogs......