Tripped Up By The Smallest Thing.

It was so weird.

I found myself with free time to wrench on bikes. Not wanting to jinx it, I hustled down to the garage and started working on the new race bike.

If it turns out like I hope it will, it will be my new favorite bike. It's a 2009 Trek Madone 6.9. This was made before Trek got all stupid and started routing everything internally. I don't mind the rear brake being routed internally, but more than that causes all sorts of maintenance problems when combined with the other Great Satan- press-fit bottom brackets. I like designs that don't require a major tear-down just to do some basic maintenance. At any rate, this one is a lot like my current favorite bike, the 2008 Madone 5.2 Pro. Same geometry, just stiffer and lighter. And black, which hides the dirt and grease better.

I started bolting all of the Gucci-est components in the parts pile. I carefully measured the fork's steerer tube and then proceeded to cut it 1mm too short. Not really a problem. SRAM Red looked perfect on the bike, the bars were wrapped, the brakes set up, the derailleurs aligned, and I was routing derailleur cables when I hit a roadblock.

There was no bottom bracket cable guide installed.

A $6 piece of plastic stopped me in my tracks. I hadn't noticed it was missing. Since it was a Holiday, the Evil Empire's Trek Store (EETS) was closed. Nobody else in town would have had it in stock, even if they were open. So close, and yet so far.

The bike would hang on the stand for another day.

A quick call and stop by EETS netted me the part I needed Tuesday (they were just as shocked as I was), and the bike was finally all duct taped together for a series of shake-down rides this week. If all goes as planned (no promises there), I'll take it up to Fairbanks. I'll also be taking the 5.2, because if all else fails, I know it will work. Plus, every overweight/under-talented Masters racers needs two race bikes and a time trial bike when they're competing in just-a-hair-below-arctic America's premier road cycling race.

What I lack in ability I try to make up for in gear. It never works, but that doesn't stop me from trying.

If the test ride is any indication, I am not worthy of this bike. 


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