Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Near Disaster

Triathlon, by its very nature, is an individual sport. Though in the presence of hundreds, or even thousands of others, we race alone. In the water, we swim with little but our own thoughts. Well, that and the risk of the occassional slap upside the head. On the bike, drafting rules ensure we do the work ourselves. And on the run, we have to get inside ourselves to hide from the pain and fatigue of a long race.

So the opportunity to train with others is an often welcome change. Most Saturdays I run with a training partner who will be attempting his first marathon in less than four weeks. Today, we decided to add a bike to that training. That required a bit of planning and a deviation from the normal process. All of the gear for the day's training was packed and put in the car, last night. The bike was pulled back off the trainer and put in the garage, ready for the car. Bottles of Gatorade and water were prepped and put with my feedbag in the refrigerator.

Since I wanted to get some strength training in, I decided to do my morning run at the YMCA, a nearly tragic decision. Training at the gym AND taking The Pol-R Express poses a bit of a security issue. Since I'm loathe to leave the bike on the rack for the 90 minutes I'm in the building, I decided to throw it in the back seat of the Camry.

That requires the front tire be removed.

So, I pulled the front tire, leaned it against the car so I wouldn't forget it, and threw the rest of the bike into the car. I made sure I had my pump, bags, breakfast, and ran into the garage to grab a few drinks. I tossed the drinks into the bag with my breakfast and backed out of the driveway.

This is the point where you might say something clever like, "Gee, Iron Pol, you didn't mention anything about putting that front tire in the car."

To which I would reply, "Golly, Timmy, you're right. And now would be a good time to start running faster than I can, strictly for safety reasons."

As I cleared the end of the driveway, I felt a lurch of the car and heard a loud crunchy kind of sound. I quickly stopped, wondering what I had just run over, as it isn't trash day. The answer to that question sort of wobbled into view, just to the front passenger side of the car. Oddly, it looked a bit like my wheel. Or, an awful LOT like my wheel.

I believe words to the nature of, "You DID NOT just run over your WHEEL" may have passed my lips. It may, in fact, have been something more colorful, including some clever references to the probable current location of my head, along with the desperate need for a plate glass stomach to facilitate seeing.

I jumped out and grabbed my wheel, hoping against hope there was no damage. I gave it a spin to see if it was obviously bent, and it seemed true. I checked for bent spokes, and saw none. I ran my hands around the entire wheel and felt no bents, dings, or protrusions. Though I have yet to throw it on the bike, it appears the wheel took the abuse well. (Whew!)

I put the wheel in the car. As I closed the door, I noticed something dangling from the front bumper. A quick investigation revealed that in the process of nearly running over my tire, I had ripped the entire side indicator/turn signal light fixture out of the car. The three brackets that held it there were completely broken.

I took the fixture off, threw it in the car, and headed to the gym, thankful that it was only the car that had been damaged. The ride is still on, and the bike is fine.


tarheeltri said...

I couldn't read past the sentence:

"So, I pulled the front tire, leaned it against the car ..."

Please e-mail me and let me know everything is okay with your bike. I couldn't bear to read on!

stronger said...

Not quite as bad as pulling into the garage with your bike on top of the car...not saying that someone like Curly Su ever did something like that or anything (love ya Su!). Not quite as bad...but close.

Iron Pol said...

Oh, you meant Curly Sue? I thought you meant Veeg. Not that she ever did that, either.

Love you, too, Veeg.

Wrenching Winz said...

Ahh a true tri geek: bike before car. Ive also fallen victim of the Roof Rack + Parking Garage match.

John said...

Iron, I almost cried just thinking about dinging up that nice Felt of yours. Glad to hear that it was only the car. :)


Iron Benny said...

Alright Pol, here is my story. The very evening that I bought my first bike, which by the way, was the road bike equivelant to the Polar Express, I almost did the same thing. Literally, I bought the bike, rolled it out to the car, and almost ran over the wheel. I felt like such a dumb ass. But, luckily my friend was with me and he stopped me.

Then, just a few days later, I went for a ride. I put the bike on the top of the car and headed for home. When I got home, I pulled straight into the carport. Yep, hit the bike on the roof! I feaked out! Luckily, there was no damage whatsoever. NONE. Except, to my Camry. The roof partially collapsed in from the collision. But, being a true triathlete, I could care less about the damage to the vehicle worth 10 times more. I was just happy that my bike was OK. And it was, as she took me home to Iron that same year.

Alright, does that make you feel better about yourself? It should. And, I swear Pol, did I write this post again? Wheel, Camry, damage to the Camry. See anything in common? Later

George Schweitzer said...

wow..that sucks. but as a previous commenter are certainly a tri-geek if your happier your car got it and not your bike

Di aka "Mrs Bigun" said...

Thank goodness it was only the car!!! PHEW!!!! My heart wrenched with your story!!

Tri-Dummy said...

I have had the same close calls in my garage w/all the bikes strewn about!

Glad the bike is okay...sorry about the car.

SkiRough said...

Have you driven into your garage with your bikes on top of your car yet? I feel like everyone makes that mistake at least once. My friends all have the identical markings on top of their garages!

Glad your tire seems to be okay!

Bigun said...

and here I thought you had the perfect excuse for a fresh new set of race wheels. Pol, Pol, Pol...these are little opportunities that must be taken advantage of - next time you want your front wheel "accidentily" run over, hey, I know some people (insert Suprano's accent).

Mister P. said...

It sounds like a great commercial for whatever brand of wheels you use!

Comm's said...

Whew, had me worried there. Its just a car.

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

LOL to Skirough's comment about driving into the garage with the bikes on the roof mount...been there...done that...wasn't pretty..