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.