It all started routine enough - up at 4:30, out the door at 5:00 and at the race by 5:30 with great spot in transition. I had a less gear today, as T2 was in another location and I had dropped off my run stuff on Saturday.
As I laid everything out, I suddenly had the urge to clip my shoes into the pedals. I put on a new pair of cleats last night. I didn't even think to double check them - it's something I do every few months and I have their install position marked with sharpie on the bottom of the shoes.
It ended up that the "urge" to check was indeed prophetic. The cleats did not fit in the pedals. Huh? Look pedals. Look cleats. The EXACT cleats as always - I use the black ones (with no float) on my tri-shoes. I tried dialing the tension spring all the way back. They still didn't fit. I tried the left shoe on the right and the right shoe on the left. Still nothing.
Perplexed, I took my bike and the shoes over to the mechanic. At one point, there were two mechanics and four other guys huddled around my bike trying to figure it out. They couldn't, and neither mechanic had a spare sets of cleats.
I briefly considered not even worrying about it and to try riding un-clipped in running shoes. But my running shoes where in T2. A friend offered me an extra pair of shoes, but ultimately I decided against it - I figured riding like that would be pretty much a disaster in the waiting.
At this point I realized that my race was over. My initial thoughts (in order) where:
- I'm out $125....
- I might as well do the swim....
- I ate a zillion calories between Friday and Saturday, this sucks....
- I can deal with the calories, I'll just go home and go out on a long ride....
So I took my bike back to my spot, put my wetsuit on and headed to the beach. I didn't even bother with the timing chip so officially I suppose I am classified as DNS. Obviously no one knew my bike was broken, but it almost felt like I had a scarlet "BB" (for broken bike) on my wetsuit. It was a weird feeling to know that when I came out of the water I was done.
The swim ended up being pretty fun. I started off hard, but then realized that there was no real point in doing so. Instead, I started working on technique. Every few minutes I'd focus on something different - body roll, reach, pull, etc. After about 1000 meters, this got a little boring so I started thinking that maybe I should quickly find another race so my season would not end on a low note. At about 1200 meters it occurred to me that my neighbor Craig (who also conveniently has a blog - "Let's Do This Again" - check it out) is doing a race next weekend at Lake Perris. I had no idea where Lake Perris actually is or what length race they are having, but by 1250 meters I was committed.
When I came home I immediately registered for the Big Rock Triathlon, which offers both an sprint and Olympic distance race. I opted for the Olympic. As I write this, I'm still not exactly sure where the lake is, but I'll sort that out later. The race is next Saturday.
I also did some digging online regarding Look cleats. It turns out that there are two models available that essentially appear exactly the same. There is the "Keo" which I use, and the "Delta" which is for an older series of pedals. Sure enough, when I dug the packaging out of the trash I had put on Deltas. Please bear with me, I am not that big of an idiot - I know I use Keo. That said, I had no idea there was also a Delta cleat, and when I went all Costco a few months ago and bought 4 or 5 sets of cleats, a Delta set got mixed in by accident.
|Look Delta. Really.|
Figuring all this out caused my original annoyance about missing the race to come flooding back. Maybe I should have known about the existence of Delta cleats, but I definitely should have tested them yesterday and avoided this mess.
Then I dealt with the extra calories. I figured I had time for a 40 mile ride and damned if I wasn't going to treat myself to the comfy road bike. Man, I love the Bianchi. I swear the second I got on that bike I stopped being annoyed.
|The Bianchi and the "other" shoes. Both worked fine.|