Saturday, May 15, 2010

All the usual troubles (and some success!)

I hate whiny blogs. So there were no posts for a while as I tried to sort things out...

Trying to do a big event always seems to push everything else harder. It takes so much time and energy that wrinkles in everyday life seem like mountains. And holes in the plan for the event seem like dark chasms. So while my attempts to reduce my load at work are still coming to nothing and I often have to work until midnight after training; and while the frame that I was going to use for the race is broken; and while my knee has been hurting again; these things are not insurmountable.

The work will do what it does and if some things fall by the wayside, I'm going to try to accept that I can't do it all.

The frame will be replaced by something different and better, but more on that when it's done!

And the knee still feels odd but doesn't hurt today. I've taken some rest, moved my cleats about 1mm - it felt better, and I've been riding with flats for commuting. It'll get there.

The fortunate side of the knee is that it has given me time to nail down those last few bits of gear (aside from the new bike!). I got myself a new 500g tarp recently which isn't ultra-ultra-light, but it's light enough for my budget. With the tarp and my bivvy bag, I'm ready for anything. If it's dry and warm, then I can just use a sleeping bag. If it's wet and warm and I can find a way to pitch it, I can use the tarp and sleeping bag. If it's wet and cold and I can find a way to pitch it, I can use the tarp and bivvy. And if it's wet and cold and there's no tarp possible, I can survive a cold wet night in just the bivvy.

So, today I cut a slot into a carbon pole that I had lying around and tried pitching the tarp using just the bike and that one pole:

Pretty successful (the funny wrinkle in the side is due to only partly pegging that side in). It's wide enough to lie under with gear. It's high enough not to be right in my face. And if I can find co-operative branches or trees, it could be even better. The pole can easily attach to the bike with velcro cable ties, and the same ties can be used to run a guy rope across the bar-ends. Sweet!

So it's back on the bike tomorrow and crossed fingers that the frame damage won't damage me!

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