Off to Alcatraz Like A Herd of Turtles

Broken down bike and bike bag

Frankenbike in pieces

Why is it that cycling companies can’t be arsed to put instructions on any of their equipment? Of all the cycling crap I acquire while doing this sport, I’d estimate less than half of it came with any sort of direction. I understand perhaps not throwing a bunch of paperwork on components that are typically handled by people who already know what they’re doing, but companies tend to be equally bad at this for end user products as well. My new bike bag, for example, came without even a scrap of paper announcing its name. Mountain Plus, the company I bought it from, was kind enough to throw in a package of bike padding and some travel skewers, which was awesome, but damned if I knew what they were when they arrived.

It took me 2 hours to pack up my bike last night. I’ve never taken it apart before and the bag wasn’t completely intuitive with its foam insert and pockets. I wrapped everything that I could, removed my derailleur, seat, and headset, but it was still a big sweaty jig saw puzzle. DC Rainmaker’s post on how he travels with his bike gave me a general idea of what I was aiming for, at least.

The good news was that I surrendered Frankenbike to the ticket counter lady with only a single question of, ‘So anything special in here?’ Equipment, indeed. The bad news is that any benefit savings was cancelled out by my need to take a cab out to the airport. Frankenbike, his padding, my helmet, my wetsuit*, and the random componentry I need for reassembly weighed a bit more than anticipated.

My packing was laced with random bits of anxiety about the race. I will die! I will fail! I will forget something! I will… I dunno, anxiety is never that specific. My mild freakout was soothed by packing all of my non-bike items into a single roll on like a boss and double checking that bike shops do indeed exist in San Francisco.

Before and after packing shenanigans

Before and After…like a boss.

This past week of training was less taper and more normal week of training. I didn’t push but I kept to a normal workout schedule and ended up with about 8 hours of training, which is not all that far down from what I’d put in in previous weeks. This week will be a solid taper though. I wait for months to relish in the joy of taper week and not taking advantage of it would not only be bad for race day but it’d mean I’d need to reevaluate my life’s priorities.

*The Accomplice, by the way, fully supports my tossing my wetsuit off the Golden Gate Bridge come Monday after Alcatraz. I may be contemplating this suggestion with more seriousness than you’d think.

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