Eight miles from the finish line at the PCPP I came across a racer that I had been riding with, off and on, for the entire race. He’d pull away on the downs, I’d pull him back on the ups. There was a bit of chit-chat here and there, but mostly we suffered in mutual silence. I was always glad when I’d round a corner and see him up the trail a few yards. Except when I saw him, again, just eight miles from home hunched over his ailing bike.
“You have a wrench? I ripped my derailleur off.”
I dropped my brand new Crank Bros. multi-tool into the dirt.
As I rode off I hoped I that I would not have need for the tool. I was feeling great, and I knew the end was close at hand. I put my head down and continued pushing along the route.
“Hopefully karma sees me through to the end.”
Now, what I had in mind when I mumbled those words was that karma would be a boon and a blessing to me and help me finish problem free, because I had done a good deed in helping a fellow racer get back on his bike. What I did not have in mind was that I’d in fact have need of another’s good will, just 2 miles from the finish line. After using up my four CO2 cartridges in a panic laden attempt to try and get my failing rear wheel to seal up, I realized in horror that I would have to use my spare tube to fix the flat – but I was out of air. A rider came by, and he must have heard me swearing under my breath because he stopped.
“Do you have any air?”
He dropped 3 cartridges and a trigger.
I was able to get back on the bike and finish the race. The fiasco cost me a lot of time. A cascade of riders (including the racer I’d dropped the tool for) passed by me. That was disheartening. I felt like all the work I put into the climbs throughout the day to gap these very same riders had been pissed away with the ridiculous Stan’s volcano that was spouting out of my tire. But, that’s racing. After the race I was not able to find either of the riders to return and re-claim the tools. I was lamenting the loss of my multi-tool when my number was called in the raffle.
The prize? A Crank Brothers multi tool. Along with a pump and a pair of SL Eggbeaters.
In the end, karma came through for me. Just not in the way I had expected.