Mechanical Failure

Cycling can be a cruel sport. With all of the physical suffering, leg pain, and fatigue, racing bikes can be hard on the body. However, it is the mental anguish (and financial burden) associated with mechanical failure that is often worse. I have had my fair share of “mechanicals” lately. With my broken chain at the Vermont 50, I thought I had my autumn mechanical out of the way.

 Scott Livingston at the West Hill Cross.

My string of bad luck continued today at the West Hill Cyclo-cross race in Putney, Vermont. “Putney” is one of my favorite cross races and I have done it many times. In the Masters 35+ race today, I was battling on the last lap with my teammate, Matt Domnarski, when mechanical lightning struck again. I came into the barriers too fast and after I dismounted, I clipped my front wheel on one of the barriers. When I remounted, the front wheel was jammed in my brakes. I couldn’t figure out the problem. I thought  my wheel was bent. Matt took off and the rest of the field passed me as I tried to loosen my wheel. Ultimately, I ran to the pit where the mechanic diagnosed my problem. My wheel was fine, but the aluminum fork dropout pulled out of the carbon fiber fork blade. Race over. This is a pretty significant failure and I plan to contact Reynolds Cycling tomorrow to discuss repair/replacement. I was bummed out because it was a beautiful day in Vermont and I was feeling pretty good. It was fun to be neck and neck with Matt. We were ready for a last lap shootout.

The West Hill Shop is one of the best shops in New England. I didn’t finish, but Thom Reid, Wade Summers, and of course, Matt, flew the Team Horst colors and all had strong rides.

The dropout pulled out of the blade.

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