Can you write a race report if you only get 27% of the way through the bike before pulling out? Maybe this is more of a race blurb. Or perhaps I could write a sonnet. Well, whatever this is, it’s pretty short and sweet, but plans moving forward are at the end so read along to get the latest!
This past Saturday morning, circa 7:03am, I knew I was in trouble. I’d just completed the swim in the cold, but way more bearable than expected, Lake Sonoma and run up the crazy steep, even longer than expected, transition to my bike.
I’d taken measures against the 45 degree air by putting a long sleeve jersey over my wet body.
I took my first few pedal strokes and my legs felt ready to roll, not to be taken for granted after a swim.
And then, after the small hill out of transition, I clicked my electronic shifter to shift over to “big ring.*” Nothing.
I clicked again and again and the bike wouldn’t shift. I, of course, charged the bike before the race, so I was shocked at the first sign of a low battery, a dead front derailleur. Especially after working with mechanics to diagnose and fix battery draining components weeks prior.
This was the internal thought process that led up to the decision to drop, for this blog post narrated by Morgan Freeman:
0.25mi: “Ok, the next two miles are down hill. Tuck, bomb, get to the bottom and get off the bike to change it with your hands.”
2.25mi: “I don’t think you can change electronic derailleur with your hands.”
2.26mi: (click, click) “Ok, time to spin your legs as fast as you can to keep tension and salvage a bike split and deliver yourself to the run.”
4mi: (going up hill) “Not so bad, maybe this is possible!”
5mi: (going down hill) “Crap. Most of this course is downhill or flat.”
15mi: “Yeah, spinning like a maniac and watching the race pass you is kind of dumb. At this rate I’ll be done about 30min slower than expected. Last option, does this aid station have mechanical support? No? Time to pull the plug.”
And with that pun, I rolled with my teammate Brad KS who’d dropped with a chest cold, to the next town where a gracious family of spectators gave us a ride back to Santa Rosa.
I’ve learned a couple of reasons why my battery could have drained in 36 hours. I’ve put them at the bottom of this post.
While it’s a major bummer that when I was fit and ready, I wasn’t able to race this big local race against such a talented field and my teammates, I realize things happen and like the cramping at Oceanside a month prior, it’s all part of racing. It was great to cheer so many teammates onto podium performances.
But since we’ve had a tough start to the season with duds at the first two races, I’ve made the decision to race Chattanooga this Sunday, May 21. We’ll have a lot of guys there, it’s the site of 2017 Worlds and it’s a chance to put this fitness to work. Hopefully I’ll be smiled upon by the racing gods for good race luck.
Thanks to everyone for the kind messages, sponsors for the support, Dani for being in my corner and all my teammates for the inspirational finishes to light that fire.
Reasons Di2 electronic could have lost charge:
- How the bike was stored in the back seat of the car
- Break cabling work week before race could have knocked something loose
- Cold temperatures over night
- In transition, something pressed or if the bike was knocked over ttriggering the system response to freeze the gearing