Saturday, August 8, 2009

Austin Tri Cyclist

Most Saturday mornings I try to make the group ride out of the Austin Tri Cyclist bike shop. It's consistently the fastest ride in town and when the 1/2s show up, it's everything I can do to just grab a wheel. The ride has great extended climbs and a steady fast pace. Today, however, is the State Individual Time Trial competition down near San Antonio which has drawn away nearly every fast wheel in town. That left me and the other soreheads who are too cheap to buy a pair of clip on aero bars to contest the Saturday morning ride.

I'm a little like Groucho Marx when it comes to group rides. I don't want to ride one that I can hang with. If I can hold on, it's a dead scene. Of course, that's my attitude in the air conditioning in front of my keyboard. On the road I couldn't be more grateful for the relaxed pace. But even with the disc wheel exodus, the pace was still brutal. And nothing can flatten the hills or stop the sun from baking us as we circumnavigate the city.

So it was another great ride, but my bottom bracket has been creaking for months and today was just ridiculous. Matt, you'll remember that you pointed this out to me before the time change. It's embarrassing to ride with a new crowd and squeak your bottom bracket the whole way. It's like showing up on the dance floor with toilet paper stuck to your shoe.

When I finished at the shop I asked them to take a look at it. Which they did while I waited. And, after every ATC ride, there's free breakfast tacos waiting for you at the shop afterwards. So, while I was waiting for my repair, I was chilling out to folk rock, enjoying my spinach egg and cheese taco and scoping all the new bike stuff. It turns out, my BB was installed poorly and had been cross threaded a little. The mech was able to clean it out and get plenty of bite to reinstall the BB squarely and cleanly. Total cost for BB overhaul, good tacos and folk lounge: $10.

Bay Area and Conte's, there's always a place for you in my heart, but these Austin shops are seriously rocking my world.