Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Getting Started

My preparations are now starting "in earnest"...
I had registered for the event months ago, but things really don't start to get busy until about 2 months before the event, when I make flight reservations. I don't do that until I'm sure the bike will really be ready in Italy.
So yesterday I found out that my mechanic in Italy has picked up my bike from storage with another friend. This was great news as I had been anticipating this for at least a month now. The mechanic is going to service the bike for me and deliver it to Sicily for this year's event. So now it's time to really get rolling and to try and finish my preparations.
I spent a couple hours writing a list of things that needed repair or adjustment on the bike. And my fiancèe (fidanzata in Italian), Lo, translated much of it into Italian. And then I spent another hour or so tweaking it till it was just what I wanted to say (I think... given my limited knowledge of the language). This involved hours digging through my Italian language manuals and parts books looking for the proper terminology for things like wheel spokes; "raggio" and rubber bushings for the rear shock absorbers; "La boccola ammortizzatrice per snodo". The list includes critical items like fixing the wheel rim that I bent last year on a rough road and fixing the battery charging system. Last year charging the battery was a real fiasco, I'm hoping to have that fixed for this year. And of course there are many smaller items like deteriorated shock mounts, an oil change, valve adjustment and timing adjustment. The usual full race prep. Hopefully the list won't be too daunting for the mechanic. (He's a great guy.. more about him another time.)
I have a thousand things to do and get: flights, hotels, bike registration, insurance, new boots, a medical approval, spare parts to bring, etc. And that's not to mention that I want to upgrade my competitive timing equipment!

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