Since I’ve been back…

Random Stuff

-Shingles: OMG, painful. I went to the doctor on Monday, and she confirmed my self-diagnosis from earlier last week. This shit hurts- it starts with a burning, stabbing muscle/skin pain, then erupts into a rash that feels like someone took your skin off with a belt sander. The treatment is Valtrex (yes, the same stuff that’s used to treat all sorts of herpes infections) and an antiviral/lidocaine pain relief ointment. Only, I didn’t get the ointment because it costs $300 AFTER INSURANCE. So, I’m basically gutting out the extreme pain with ibuprofen and the occasional shot of whiskey. It’s terrible and frustrating, because my insurance would easily cover a large portion of the cost of an oral narcotic pain reliever, but NOT a topical, non-narcotic one. I don’t take the narcotic stuff- it’s addictive, and the side effects are terrible. I feel like it’s a conspiracy to both punish people with genital herpes and also take advantage of the elderly (who are usually the ones who suffer from shingles). Side note- when you’re 32 and you show up at the pharmacy with a Valtrex prescription, the pharmacist will assume you have genital herpes then get really embarrassed when you correct her with, “no, it’s shingles.”

-My Cannondale Supersix EVO is still f*cked: If you aren’t aware of the shitstorm that this bike has put up, start here: EVO Saga, then go here: EVO Saga Update. After that, they sent a COMPLETE BIKE out to me, promising that this one would work, so all I needed to do was take the parts off and keep the frame. It also didn’t work, and I later discovered that they’d just taken a defective frame, “run a tool on it,” and put it back together with the BS honed out bearing cups to pass off to me as a working bike. I was pretty livid, and they promised me that if I could wait until the mold was fixed, they’d send me a new production frame later in the year.

So, in the meantime, I’ve been riding a defective frame with a PF30 to GXP adapter. It works, but it also involved me disassembling one of my CX bikes for BB/Crank parts.  As you can imagine, I was excited to hear that a warranty frame came in while I was in Breck. As you can imagine, I was pretty pissed when the bearings in this frame felt just as bad as the bearings in every other frame they’d sent, AND the warranty tag even had a date on it of March 4th, 2013- It wasn’t even a new frame as they’d promised. My reaction was to call the rep that’s been helping me out (bless his heart), and calmly but sternly say that I’m done with this, it’s obvious that my standard for how a bottom bracket should function and Cannondale’s standard for how a bottom bracket should function are too far removed from each other for either of us to be happy in this situation, and that I’d like a refund.

Side Note- my personal standard is simply, “bearings feel the same installed into the frame as they do when they’re not installed into the frame”

It sucks bad, because since I employee purchased the complete bike, I’m going to end up paying far out the ass for a different bike since I’m no longer an employee at a shop. Also, aside from the bottom bracket thing, the Supersix EVO is one of the most killer bikes I’ve ever ridden. I just can’t deal with a company that’s repeatedly tried to treat me like I’m some sort of idiot by sending me half-assed fixes for the same problem.

-In “not everything is bad” news: I stopped by the Oasis Bike Shop yesterday (Go take a look at the link and come back before you keep reading). Wow… they’ve got a huge, amazing operation there. It’s literally a warehouse of bikes to distribute throughout some of the poorest communities in Memphis in exchange for community service. They also sell furniture and appliances, as Ted put it, “at a price just high enough to give a sense of ownership.”
Memphis needs all of that. If you’ve got bikes, bike parts, time, and/or money you’d like to donate, get the contact info from the link above. Heck, if you’re local, I’ll even come pick that stuff up from your house and take it there for you- just email me and let me know -andrea at brickhouseracing dot com (turn that into a normal email address… gotta keep the spambots away).

-It’s about time to break out the CX bikes!!! Local calendars: Tennessee and Arkansas. It looks like my best bet for getting to anything before the Outdoors, Inc. race in November is to hit up some Arkansas races since Jonesboro and Little Rock are a good bit closer to me than anything in Tennessee (All the middle TN stuff is >3hours away). As an added bonus- most of the Arkansas race days are set up to where I can race both the women’s race as well as the Open race. Then, of course, there’s this: Cyclocross National Championships in early January. I’m still up in the air on that one. I’d have a good shot at a decent finish in both women’s SS and Master’s races (I’d probably race elites, too, but the goal there would be more like “don’t get lapped by Katie Compton”) I’ve spent the last two winters so focused on prepping for Worlds that I’ve missed out on a lot of prime winter mountain bike riding. Then again, it IS pretty early in January…


That’s the rundown of what’s keeping me busy since I got home from Breck. It’s always hard to assimilate back to normal life after being gone for nearly 3 weeks. I still need to unpack, and I haven’t ridden or gone to yoga class yet. Hopefully today, I’ll get that sorted out.