I arrived at Stewart kind of late after having to get gas in Fishkill but in way it was serendipitous because I parked behind the two guys who put me on the right track two weeks ago when I got miserably lost on my first pre-ride. One of them gave me a bag of salted, Yukon Gold potatoes and told me they are much better than eating gel or gu. I threw them into my back pouch and got ready. The one thing I did this time around is stay away from any caffeine because a reputable source (who happens to be a Roadie) told me that it will lead to cramps. No coffee in the morning and none of my Gu had caffeine, either.
I started towards the back of the pack and into the first mile my non-drive side crank arm came off! So I grabbed my bike tool and got it back on. At the turn onto Scofield I stopped and tightened it some more but I think that was a waste. At the end of the prologue it was about to fall off again and the guy from Niner helped me out. That got me about 8 miles when I noticed it was about to come off again. This time I took it off and cleaned it out put it back on and it never bothered me during the rest of the course.
Now that the crank issue had been resolved it was time for something else to come up, like my chain dropping. It would drop whenever I was out of the saddle and mashing on the pedals. While I started out with good tension, my chain must have stretched because when the drops started happening I noticed it was much looser. While that wasn't a terrible setback it meant many of the short climbs that I would normally power up out of saddle I had to walk.
Nothing like Beer and Weenies at the finish line!
Dark Horse Cycles really knows how to do it right!
I came upon John at the top of the big hill that I had to walk both times. He had a wardrobe malfunction with his hydration pack and was fixing it when I "passed" by. Another problem with my crank arm happened when John passed me. Getting the crank arm back on I took off again and finished the race in 3 hours, 35 minutes, and 11 seconds. My chain dropped in the last little dip and I ran across the finish line pushing the bike. 83rd out of 89. Can't wait for next year and here's hoping to no mechanicals!