Skip to main content.


Mar. 5, 2007
The Merco Crit & Fixing Your STI Levers with Sandpaper
All scraped up. You know it's not good when you're in the shop on a Sunday morning while your teammates are either racing the NRC Merco Road Race in Merced or out on a four-hour ride in beautiful NorCal March weather. And it gets worse when part of the reason you're in the shop is to do what you can to fix your STI levers... with fine-grade sand paper.

That was my Sunday. Saturday at the Merco Criterium didn't go so well.  I got to see the emergency room in Merced (folks there were very helpful) where I was informed that one of the puncture-ish wounds in my forehead couldn't be stitched because a chunk of my skin was likely still somewhere on M Street. Like I don't have enough mishap-induced scars on my face already.  Thanks to Giro for making a lid that did its job—who knows what would have happened to my head if my Atmos hadn't been there to sacrifice itself so that I can race again.

Back to the bike. My Orbea Opal appears to have taken a hit too. There are a couple cracks in the clear coat of the down-tube, so odds are it's time for a new frame. Or should I say, another new frame cuz that frame was pretty much new. It's March—the bike had been raced three whole times and I was absolutely loving my Opal.

Events like the crash on Saturday force me to wonder what in the world I'm doing racing bikes. Getting crashed out of races by fit dudes with questionable handling skills is getting old. I tried to avoid the mess on Saturday, but some other guy trying to do the same thing swerved left, taking my front wheel away and that was all she wrote. 

There's definitely a lot more to life than bike racing. I've got a wonderful wife, a great little 4-yo son, and an ol’ buddy of a dog. There's a lot to be thankful for and lying there on the M-Street yesterday trying to figure out if my ribs were only bruised while one of the course marshals wrapped my head to stop the bleeding, I found myself pondering the riddle that for some ridiculous reason it's a pretty good bet I'll be racing again next weekend if I can get another bike. 

What kind of fool does that make me?

I guess it makes me a bike racing fool who still feels like there are some good results left in the legs. 

And after sanding down the sides of the scarred STI levers so that they’re nice and smooth again, you can only tell they've been through hell if you look at them. Now I just need to get my hands on another Orbea Opal frameset, a front Mavic wheel and a Ritchey bar & stem— then I'll be good to go... as long as my ribs are only bruised.

Ah, bike racing.  Fun stuff.  I think.

Posted by:
Le Sensation American
Team Clif Bar

More Topics

Blog Contributors

RSS Feeds:
RSS Comments
Podcasts Feeds:
My Yahoo

About this Blog

We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

Blog Leaf