There's a lot to talk about in this post so it's kind of long - sorry...
DNF - Mechanical Failure
At 9:30am I officially withdrew from the 2008 Nightmare due to the jockey wheel on my derailluer breaking loose. The jockey wheels are the small geared wheels on the derailluer (click for a picture).
Crunch friend Brian R. (of Blue Ridge Parkway fame) was kind enough to pick me up from the food stop I was at. The bummer was that I was at the most southern point in the ride (Kirk's Mill Rd.) only 50 miles in. I also want to give a huge thanks to Steve Mazeski and his support crew. His support car took me the 8 miles up the road to the food stop where I waited for Brian. Later in the day I met up with Jim and Brian L. who were also on the ride and rode the last 41 miles back to the start/finish with them on a borrowed bike and finished the day with 91 total miles.
The offending jockey wheel that ejected itself from my derailleur cannot be replaced. Both the screw that holds it in and the derailleur cage are stripped out. Considering it has 10,000 plus miles on it, I can't be to angry - parts wear out. It is a small consolation that even if I had the right parts on the course, I could not have continued anyway.
It is especially frustrating because I had based my entire season around Nightmare. I prepared so I would be on perfect form. When I got on the bike this morning I could tell my body was going to respond well. The 50 miles that I completed are probably the hardest and I felt very strong over them. But mechanicals happen - even to the pros (his chain broke in a stage he where he was clearly the strongest).
Now I have even more motivation for next year to complete Nightmare for the second time. A big motivation this year was completing the BRP past Bear Pen Gap where I abandoned. This year's Bear Pen Gap is Kirk's Mill Rd. However, the season is not over yet. I still have two TT's to try and break the hour, and I have the BikeMS charity ride in October, plus several training rides I haven't done in a while (i.e. Gold Mine Rd.). I also get to start planning my France vacation over the winter as well
Overall it was a good day - both Jim and Brian L. finished in 13 hours 20 mins. Remember, a bad day on the bike is better than a good day at the office. While I am disappointed, I know I tried my best and I'm in the best/fastest shape of my life.
Thanks to everyone for following along with me this year. Even though the main part of the season will be over in less than 3 weeks, stay tuned through the winter. I will be blogging my France vacation preparations (planning on riding the big Tour mountains) and continuing to share my random thoughts while cycling and running (sometimes it's just too cold to ride).
Best To All