I started off poorly. For my first singlespeed race I was at the near the front but I was feeling very tentative. New bike with a stem change that I had not spent any time on. New tires that I wasn't sure how they would handle the slippery, muddy conditions. Lots of singlespeeders passed me by that first lap. Jim--aka PFJ--was at the back and he still passed me that first lap. Second lap I started feeling a little better and got used to how the bike was doing underneath me. Jim stayed within 50 yards ahead of me and then I started to gain on him. I passed him later the second lap I think and then his front tire popped and his race was pretty much done. I tried to keep up the pace and I was getting used to the course and getting the lines down. That was part of the problem the first lap, I didn't know the lines the take.
Towards the end of the third lap my back really started to ache. On the final lap I started talking to myself. "Screw the pain!"..."There is no pain!" and so forth. I came to the back section where I had found a good line through the deep water. I was gaining on a guy in front of me and I felt my left pedal slip. I thought my cleat came out of my pedal. No. My non-drive crank arm came off my bike. $#@!, Sonnofa%@#$&....lots of explicitives. I jogged over the pit and a Shimano guy tried to help me out. We could not get it to go back on. It is an Easton EC90 crankset and it has been used exactly twice now. Neil installed the crankset to Easton's exact specifications when he built the bike. And it came off somehow. Yeah, I was pissed. After several minutes of messing with the crankarm the Shimano guy and I came to the realization that it was not going back on. Screw it, the pits were only about 1 mile into a 2.5 mile lap and I didn't feel like jogging 1.5 miles more to finish the final lap. Plus, I didn't want to be on the course when the next race started. Neil was near the pit so I walked over to him and we both just shook our heads. I think I might have chucked the crank arm on the ground or something too. So race over. DNF. Crap.
I am sure that Neil installed it correctly. I don't know what the deal is but I am suddenly lacking faith in the crankset even if it is re-installed. There will surely be a call placed to Easton either Monday or Tuesday.
How did the new Cernitz perform otherwise? Stellar. I put a longer stem on there and presto, it seemed to handle perfectly. It was comfy on the hood and in the drops. The Vittoria XM tubular really felt great. They could not handle the off cambers that the course designers threw at us, but I doubt there were many tires that could. I was running about 32 lbs of pressure in them and they felt like I was running less. The casing is way more supple than the Tufo Cubus and my Hutchinson Bulldogs. I really like these tires. Overall, I wasn't too impressed my race. 2nd and 3 laps were decent, but getting to the race so close to the race time doesn't let me have time to warm up. Next week I am going to be there much earlier and I will probably bring a trainer.
Here are some post race pictures of a sad muddy handicapped bike and then a couple (ones in which I didn't look too fat) that I stole from Packfodder's blog: