Right now, I’m sitting in a Starbucks in Hot Springs, AR. The car charger on my phone isn’t working, so I figured I’d come up here & charge it since I’m camping, and there’s no electricity. If my phone dies, then my mom might have a massive panic attack since, somewhere in the Memphis area, there are convicts on the loose.
Yes, I know I’m in Arkansas… a long way from loose convicts.
I digress. It’s been a long day.
It started well- I avoided the rush hour traffic out of Memphis and arrived at Ceder Glades in time for a nice course pre-ride. During the ride, I managed to smash my large chainring into a rock. My chain would no longer stay on the large ring, and shifting was out of the question. I finished the lap in the small ring, but not before I called up Kenny (co-worker) to tell him to take an XX chainring from the shop so I could replace it when he arrived early in the morning.
Once I was back at my tent, I found the offending tooth on the chainring. With a little tough love from my channel locks, I straightened it up. The chain would shift up, but only if I were in the highest gears on the rear cog. It would, however, stay on the large ring, whereas before, it would jump around all over the place. Just in case Kenny didn’t make it in the morning, I decided to go by the local shop (Parkside Cycles) and see if they had an XX chainring that I could purchase in case of an emergency.
They did not. The mechanic there was a really nice guy, and he had me bring it in so that he could take a look. With a little more tweaking, it shifted. I took it out for a spin around the block, and it shifted perfectly. When I came back, he told me good luck and sent me along my way. I think I owe someone a 6-pack tomorrow.
Once I was back at camp, registration had opened. I then realized that I didn’t have my license with me. Luckily, I was able to pull my authorization to ride up from the USACycling site. I got my number and goodie bag, then went off to Rolando’s (awesome “Nuevo Mexican” food in downtown Hot Springs) for dinner. I sat on the porch, where the man playing guitar and singing played “Mad World” and “My Girl” back to back. Talk about a Sheen-sized mood swing…
I figured I’d find a coffee shop to kill time and charge my phone. I passed two closed coffee shops on my way to Starbucks. BTW- Hot Springs apparently has a 7:00 rush hour in the Oaklawn Track area. It took me 20 minutes to drive 4 miles. Before I saw this end of Hot Springs, I thought it was an odd but almost cool sort of place. Now, I sort of hate it.
At least in the morning, I can go to the Pancake Shop when I wake up. After that, all bets are off. The solo women’s field is a tough one. I’ll destroy myself as hard as possible and hope for the best.