Oh Just Shoe Me Already
2010 will go down as the year of the shoe. Shoe disintegration that is. First, my mountain bike shoes have totally shit the bed. All of the seams are giving out and 1/2 of the rubber on the soles has peeled off. Have you ever tried to walk in shoes that have 1/2" of rubber on one side of the shoe and nothing on the other? Makes walking in a straight line a bit difficult. What? I shouldn't be walking in my riding shoes, I should be riding? Well, f you! My single speeding ass still isn't in good enough shape to get up most hills. Soon, maybe. Now, no.
With said disintegration, I've been in the market for new mountain bike shoes. Unfortunately, I have weird feet and most shoes don't fit me right so I need to try shoes on before buying but no shops near me carry enough of a variety so I'm left guessing yet again. My last guess, Lake, was wrong. My previous guess, Sidi, was wrong as well, although their narrow shoes might have worked. My current guess is either Shimano m230's or Pearl Izumi's Elite MTBII's. The shimano's have a heat moldable insert that would help the fit but my bro, who has similar feet, says his PI's fit like a glove. What to do,what to do. The PI's might be the ticket. My guess? Next year, I'll be searching yet again.
Then to add to the shoe drama, a few weeks ago the carbon soles on my road shoes started to pull apart from the rest of the shoe. Observe:
Mix, mix, mix. Butter it in.
Speaking of road shoes. Tuesday, KillBill and I hit up a group road ride in Brunswick that heads out from Center Street Cycles KB had told me that it was painful and reminded me of the fact about thirty times as we waited a few minutes to roll out (the most efficient roll-out time I've ever witnessed btw. no waiting around for late shows. me likey). I've been on many fast road group rides in the past, dabbled in some road racing where I was up again some cat 2's and 3's and generally consider myself at least mildly competent on the road but boy was I in for a world of hurt. The first 5 minutes of the ride were tame enough but I guess that was only because we were maneuvering through the "city" streets because as soon as we left town, a cat 2 PVC dude started to push the pace a bit and a pace line was formed. I'm not sure what was happening but it was the ugliest pace line I've ever seen. After taking a pull, I'd drift to the side only to have no one pull through until the cat 2 or a Bowdoin College kid came up so I'd drop back in two back and take another turn shortly after. I thought the whole ordeal was because these guys didn't know how to do a pace line. It just turns out that they were smart.
Before long, cat 2 dude opened a short gap and the guy in front of me gave up the chase so me being me, sprinted to catch cat 2 pulling KB and Bowdoin dude with me and before you know it we had a smooth 4 person paceline going. Now, pacelines are never easy but usually you can catch your breath when you're in the middle. No such luck for me on this day. Even in the draft I was solidly in my red zone. About 15 minutes of that (only 21:50 into the ride) I lost contact and drifted back to the second group who then (briefly) dropped me in short order. Maybe that effort so early in the ride was too much??? F it. That's why I go to these rides. To suffer. Not to conserve myself to finish happy and strong.
Eventually, I worked my way back to the group (which now also included KB) just in time for a much needed re-group. Cat 2 dude had shed everyone and just ridden off into the sunset so, the rest of the ride was painful but enjoyable and I finished up totally depleted and unable to contest the sprint. If you're looking for a good mid-week kick in the junk road ride in the mid-coast area, look no further.