Friday, March 27, 2009

Get in the Pit and....

Bad when you start out a blog post with a Kid Rock reference. But inspiration comes from many places...while most everyone is sharpening the sword for early spring road racing I am obsessed with Pit Bikes. Should I or shouldn't I? Last year I went the solo route. One bike, spare wheels in the pit just in case. I did this mostly out of convenience and the idea that its better to have one really good bike than two so-so bikes. Plus I am lazy. Its hard enough keeping my one bike in one piece let alone two.

The year before last season I trooped my pit bike to all 12 races. And the one time I did end up using it it was priceless! I flatted on a root section at NBX right before the pit while sitting first wheel in a group of 5 riders. I swung into the pit grabbed my pit bike swung out and two turns later was at the back of that same group. When the last rider in the paceline saw I was back in the group he was speechless. He thought I was done. Nope. That is what a pit bike affords you. 
The Forest of Lowellberg
The one and only time I had a mechanical during the 2008 cross season was at Lowell. Shedd Park was like Shiva the Destroyer. The new section dubbed the Forest of Lowellberg destroyed both bike and body. My toll was two almost brand new tubbies. Both rear. One challenge fango and one dugast rhyno. Now that is carnage! Thank god for tire alert. Because its hard to explain to even an understanding significant other just how its possible that you destroyed $250 worth of bike tires at a $30 bike race. Mine as well light the money on fire in front of them...In that instance I was f-d. I rode the now punctured and flatting tubbie for 1/2 a lap. I was in a good group with some riders I am never in contact with and was feeling pretty good. I love Lowell. 

The pit was on a downhill so when I went in they went by at about 18 mph. It took me no less than 3 minutes to get out. No need to rehash what happened. A wheel change should take 30 seconds? But it is the heat of battle and things happen. The funniest part was looking over my shoulder and seeing eyebob having his cleat worked on. It was hilarious. Something akin to Tanya Harding's broken skate lace incident at the Olympics.

The good news was the entire field was gone. The 45+ guys even caught me which was fun as I got to ride with soups who was flying as usual...

So there are two clear arguments for a pit bike. If I'd had a pit bike at Lowell I could have been in and out. Still might not have been able to catch back on but it would have been Possible.

That's what I am obsessed with right now. Should I or shouldn't I? Its a pain in the ass dragging two bikes all over New England. You seem like an elitist showing up with two custom handbuilt bikes to race a Masters 35+ B race....I do have enough spare parts to make it happen (who doesn't these days right?) so its more of an image/headache decision. I've got 5 months to figure it out...


  1. yeah - or you flat at a place like Suckerbrook as far away from the pit as possible. Wheel change or not no way to keep in contact and get a pit bike.

    that said - you've got em, why not bring em. unless you are thumbing a ride to the race and there's only room for one of your bikes... then you just take one...

  2. That was a Hardman effort on your part! Seriously. That was something. That got the cowbells going extra loud when we saw you running by. I love that mindset. That is my mantra from now on, never DNF...

  3. Hey, my pit escapade wasn't that funny. I actually had a pretty good ride going until then.

    Tanya Harding? I wasn't even crying!