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Early Season Race Update

March 17, 2010

I have my first season race this weekend.  As with other early-season sprint tris I have raced before, it is quite short:  150m swim (really?), 7 mile mountain bike, finishing with a 2-mile trail run.  Short is good, becasue some of my early race prep was derailed last week from a stomach virus that swept our family.  The silver lining to untold hours spent on the toilet is that I was so afraid to eat for a couple of days that I lost a pound-and-a-half.  (I originally lost four-and-a-half pounds, but this settled up by 3 pounds after I finally rehydrated.)  I resumed training yesterday, with a 10-mile out-and-back “TT” on my road bike, the “back” portion into 25+mph winds. 

The “Squabble Creek” trail system for this tri are beginner/intermediate and hardly necessitate my heavy 1999 Specialized FSR, so I will be riding my “Frankenbike”, pictured here:

The Frankenbike

This is my first road bike, an early-’90’s Nishiki I bought from a buddy, complete with magnetic resistance trainer for $150.  It is 57cm in size and waay too big for me with my stubby legs and 30″ inseam.  In my early biking experience, without proper guidance, I think I fell back on how I sized bikes as a kid:  if you can straddle the top tube and tip-toe touch the ground–perfect fit. (the guy I bought it from is actually about 2″ shorter than me!).  This frame is so comfortable, though, when rust began to show through the original red paint, I inexplicably had it sandblasted and powdercoated the black metallic/silver fade you see.  Awesome.  It has downtube shifters and 7-speed spacing between the rear dropouts, so I was faced with some challenges when I decided to convert it to try my hand at cyclocross last season.  I thought it best for me to keep my hands on the bars as opposed to reaching to the downtube to shift, so I installed a flat bar and a 7-speed mountain trigger shifter.  Concerned about front mud clearance I found a 1″ threaded ‘cross fork on ebay for cheap, and installed a v-brake and mountain lever on the front.  With no cantilever bosses on the rear dropouts, I really had to keep the road caliper, now actuated with a “crosstop” lever on the flat bar.  I retained only the smaller chainring, and replaced the 53 with a singlespeed guard and a “jump-stop” to keep my chain put.  1×7 drivetrain…very cool.  Very “retro”.  (When you see me use the word “retro”, read “too-cheap-to-buy-a-new-bike”) Fun to ride, and worked well for ‘cross and short track despite mud packing up the rear wheel.

Current weight: 218

I’ll post an update near race time!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2010 10:14 am

    Great post….nice to see that you guys are showing your personal side along with providing a good product. Keep up the nice work and I look forward to reading more.


  2. Mary R permalink
    March 17, 2010 4:54 pm

    Love the Frankenbike! I used to have a Nishiki back in the 1980s, it was my first real “racing bike.” I raced all the way to school and back. Good luck with your early season races!

    • ringgerb permalink
      March 18, 2010 9:44 am

      Thanks, Mary! Look forward to your posts.

  3. Lisa S permalink
    March 18, 2010 8:47 am

    Great update! Best of luck this weekend! 🙂

  4. ChristyMcB permalink
    March 19, 2010 4:38 am

    I love Frankenbike! Have a great race, your Team buddies will be with you in spirit cheering you on.

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