Ready To Fail

Last week – albeit as a bit of a protest vote – I took part in a time trial.

Sure, it was 5 mile sprint, sure I took it (relatively) easy, but hey – it sparked something I had forgotten about.

See – I have this fear of failure. Its a big thing. It is to be fair – well managed – identified, it’s a great thing – a powerful thing. Left to run riot not so much.

When I first joined a cycling club – I looked up their TT times – and practices and practices and practices until I was at least competitive – and then joined as a n00b with a sense of comfort.

This weekend someone said something that irked me.

Sure – they meant it in a cheeky manner.

But it vexed me.

I was vexed.

The upshot was I got in from work yesterday – took the parts of my 90’s TT bike, built a pile, got some tools, and set to work. Come midnight – I had a bike that appeared to change gear, steered, stopped, rolled, had air in tyres, and was – on the whole – unlikely to kill me without some idiocy on my behalf.

Behold the 90’s in all of its gloriousness – more than that – behold the 90’s and a flat course hulk rider.

Mavic Cosmic first editions on 501 hubs.

Sachs Mallard screw on block – 12 to 18 in 7 speeds.

Sirus 531c low profile TT frame.

ITM Dual TT bars.

Shimano 600 (Ultegra) groupset.

42 / 55 front chainset.

sirus531withultegra600and maviccosmic

Borrowing a saddle, pedals, rear light, and some brake shoes from another bike I made good…. reminding myself that the last time I took this out it bit me – hard – as the gears slipped coming out of a corner.

This was no real surprise looking back – these were not HG or even SG for that matter (SuperGlide and HyperGlide – something we all take for granted these days… don’t peddle with force while changing gear – it will skate above teeth and you will hurt yourself.

Wheel bags reminded me of days gone by. The deep section HED DEEP front, and the HED Disc rear are now 20 year old carbon that kinda rattles a bit without me on it… for what its worth – I generally don’t trust… despite the deliciousness, and their Hope Engineering hubs and bladed front spokes…. yummy.

oldcarbonhedwheels

The Ambrosio DurEx rims with WIDE bladed spokes were just too … well go hard or go home right?

So – the deep section aluminium original spec. Mavic Cosmic’s it was then.

All sported the same straight through 12 to 18 block.

Deliciously smooth with almost instant pickup and the ability to go into a shop and just pick a single sprocket off of the shadow-board and replace it…. or even build up your own ratios. … I seem to remember the main reason for moving to freehubs and cassettes was moving the bearings further outboard…. but looking at modern wheels has that REALLY happened? I am not so sold.

Tyres – the Vittoria Corsa CX were *well* past their best… so a part worn set of 23C (I know… right, its all 25 or above these days… what were we thinking… and to think that 20C was an option too!)

hopeenginneringskewers

The thing weighs a tonne.

Then again so do I.

Its very clean.

More than can be said for the profile, cables everywhere.

Epoxying on a Garmin mount was a bit shabby and had snapped off by the time I got to work…. so it will be augmented with a zip tie this evening…. but hey… I am ready.

Bring on two laps of the D1/9 this evening.

I have not done one in anger.

Not done any on this bike since 2004.

Time to realise how crap I actually am.

Burning inside with the motivation of not being slower than X…. and now wanting to take a chunk of time out of the accuser – better still as an out of shape boy with a non aero, non modern, steel and aluminium, 7 speed once King maker.

Assuming I don’t end up a crumpled mess at the side of the road…. it will be an adventure and a learning experience.

It’s time to get out there – its time to take a risk – its time to JUST GO – no waiting until it is better, until I am fitter, until I am …. another day… any other day.

Deep end. Brave.

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