Ironically after joking around with the boys on Friday night about how long it has been since I changed my chain my Saturday morning cycle was cut slightly short after a few minor technical difficulties. Between the slipping, jumping and general playing up when changing gears I felt mildly jinxed. Slightly annoyed and frustrated at having to turn around 30km shy of the 150km target for that day I called in a favor or two.
Chris Smith is an endurance mountainbiker with a ridiculous amount of experience and knowledge base in both mountain biking and road cycling and lucky for me he is one of the most generous people in existence. Even after a strenuous day of training and the fact that he has an early start and more training the next day Chris kindly agreed to have a look over my bike, teach me a thing or two and point out what I would need looking at, even though it was 10:30pm. After being rightly critizised for perhaps not cleaning and looking after my bike as well as I should I was given a list of what I should get looked at, replaced and consider changing. I really can not thank Chris enough for all his help, and for those of you who feel what I am doing is crazy I would advise sussing out his blog and the wild world of 24hr racing.
Once I had some direction I had the task of finding a bike shop who would do all this preferably within a couple of hours as to avoid missing any more training time. My first port of call was my local bike shop Bikecology in West Ryde who however as I feared were overworked with weekend before Christmas jobs as it was, Bob did however kindly direct me to their North Parramatta store where I was saved by Gary and his team.
Upon calling Gary at Universe Cycles and explaining briefly what I required, perhaps in a slight state of panic, he kindly agreed to have it done by that afternoon. Between listening to me rattle off everything I had been taught the night before with Chris along with the utter confusion as to why anyone would drill into a Cannondale frame and attach panniers I am not sure these boys knew what they got themselves in for, they did however handle it unbelievably well and even had it done more then an hour prior to the agreed time. As a result I would like to extend a massive thank you to Gary, Adam, Andrew and Rick at Universe Cycles for their generosity, smiles, great work and speediness as well as Bob from Bikecology for the referral.
If you find yourself in a similar pickle drop the guys at Bikecology / Universe Cycles a line as I have no doubt they will do their best to help out and you will only get quality (in charisma and work):
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone - (02) 9630 1491 (North Parramatta), (02) 9874 5836 (West Ryde)
I will restrain myself from giving out contact details for Chris as I think he may need a bit of sleep.