Sep 20, 2008

Disaster Strikes!

Due to a series of conference calls, I had to reschedule my morning bike ride to the afternoon. But to save time, I loaded my best bike onto the roof racks of my new BMW 5-series and headed off to work.

The plan was to leave work a bit early and get 2 - 2.5 hours on the Riverbed and be home for dinner by 6:30pm.

All was well and I was feeling good, so after the ride I stopped by my local butcher shop that makes these incredible, citrus-marinated chicken breasts perfect for the BBQ. I was still in my cycling gear and we got talking a great story about fitness, etc. As a lifelong butcher, he enjoys his product to what appears to be an unhealthy level and was very interested in some ideas to improve his health.

As I was thinking about ideas for him on my way back home I was apparently distracted because I drove right into my garage with my most-prized bike still attached to the roof.

The damage was absolutely incredible!

The rack, which had been very firmly attached to the roof, was ripped right off. In the process, however, it gorged massive dents at three points where the rack was attached. As the rack scraped across the roof, metal on metal, the roof was scratched and deeply indented.

The garage door was knocked right off the tracks and was completely inoperable.

The 100% carbon fiber bicycle, thankfully, appears to be OK. The impact was at the handlebars and they took full blow as they were the only contact point on the concrete wall above the garage.

All I can say about those bars is that Zipp makes an incredibly strong handlebar and fantastic wheelsets! The bar is fine, and it appears the bike is fine. However, I do not intend to ride the bike again until it is fully checked out by the shop.

At downhill speeds of over 40 MPH one must be certain that the frame retains full integrity.

In the meantime, I will be getting back on my Cervelo P3C Time Trial bike for the balance of my riding prior to the Full Ironman in Tempe in November 2008. Only about sixty-days now remain until this event!

Now I need to go find a good body shop. It looks like it may be $5,000 - $7,500 worth of damage, but the first estimate was only $1,600. It was so low that I am extremely suspect and will get a few others when I have time.

And while this may be an over-reaction, I am actually considering buying a different kind of car that can accommodate my bicycles and gear in a truck or fold down hatchback type area. I was thinking of the Honda Element which appears to be designed for this kind of activity, although I am not thrilled with the low power or quirky shape.

Lesson learned: If you put a bike on the roof of your car, ALWAYS, 100% of the time, take your garage door opener and put it in your trunk! If you have a door opener integrated into your car's electronics, put a small Post-It over the button to remind yourself!