K-W Classic: A Classic Mistake

Now listed among the Top 10 Dumb Things I've Ever Done

is driving away to a race with my bike safely on the roof rack, and my front wheel sitting on the curb where I left it as I was loading up. Which is why I missed this year's OCUP #6, The K-W Classic*.

I have no idea why the light bulb suddenly goes on an hour after the fact and says: "Hey – did you put your front wheel in the car?",  or why it goes on 30 kms from the race, rather than 30 metres from the house. Doubtless neurological science is working on that tricky conundrum as we speak.
The painful irony is, I know I'm pretty foggy at 5 am, and my whole pre-race (or early club ride) routine is designed to get me on the road or on the bike properly geared up without having to be particularly sharp (or even fully awake) – i.e., all my stuff is laid out or pre-packed, with a pre-race checklist to minimize the need for any actual thinking.

Sure. Good luck with that.
That said, there's no prophylactic measure to prevent momentary distractions and/or stupidity.

And then there's that terrible moment of realization that one is pooched, because:
  • I'm 90 kms from home. No time to go back for it;
  • I had decided not to bring a spare this time (the race is too short to bother trying to get back into it if I flatted, goes my thinking);
  • my M3 race had the first start time of the day, and everybody I know was in later races & wouldn't be there early enough to lend me one;
  • and even if they were, I'd probably not get in a proper warm-up by the time I got that sorted;
  • and oh yeah: my wheel is lying on the sidewalk. In my neighbourhood, even at 5:45 am, it might last two minutes there before somebody scoops it up. Which was the case. So now I'm out one good front wheel.
I always want to learn something from every race. Definitely learned something this time:
Try Not to Be an Idiot, I think, was the lesson for today. And between the entry fee and the cost of (most likely) replacing my wheel (or paying its ransom/reward for return) it's a pricey one.

Live and, uh, learn, I guess. (I hope.)

*"K-W" is Kitchener-Waterloo, a Mennonite community about 130 kms from Toronto.


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