September 15, 2016
WORK IN PROGRESS!
We flew to Dallas and then to Cozumel. Virtually everyone on the plane was traveling to Worlds. We sat between athletes from Australia and talked to others from Canada and the USA. So very cool.
I was nervous that my Vector pedals might get damaged so I took them off. I was a little hesitant because the case was canvas, but it had rave reviews online so I purchased it. It was not cheap ($800) and American Airlines charged $300 for it, but the ease of transport was worth the funds to me. At the airport, I found that 80% of the bike boxes I saw were Scicons. Note: I'm kind of proud that I did the disassembly and reassembly all by myself. I even used a torque wrench to tighten the pedals!
Making Sure it All Got on the Plane: A very nice person at American Airlines told me that if the plane were overweight, they tend to leave off the "heavy" and weirdly shaped luggage. In addition to worrying about my bike and luggage getting on the plan, I was concerned that with the full plane, I wouldn't be able to stow my carry-on luggage (which contained all my race-day equipment) in the overheads. I didn't want my race gear to leave my side. I learned that if I purchased "priority seating," 1) I would be able to board the plan early so I could grab space in the overhead bins before they filled, and 2) the airline would put a "Priority" sticker on my bike and luggage so it would not be removed if the plane were too heavy. The priority status only cost around $25. Pretty cheap to make sure my bike and luggage made it to Cozumel!
I have to report that the dog also charged at Brian who was carrying my tri-duplicates bag (and scared him too). I could hear Brian yelling, "Sue! What do you have in this bag!!??" Ha!
Bike Damage: My bike arrived damaged!! The handlebar had swiveled from left to right so it was no longer aligned with my front wheel. Panic! I thought it would just be a matter of untightening the cap bolt in the top of the headset, straightening the bar, and then tightening the bolt again. But as I read, I found that there were bearings in the headset that had to somehow be adjusted in the process. It wasn't simple. And the Cervelo manual recommended that the bolt be torqued to a specific reading. I had a torque wrench, but not the XXX. I had a regular wrench but I was afraid to tighten it by hand. I finally found an over-the-top nice person at Cozumel Bike Rental who had a torque wrench and would come to the hotel after work. Relief! But . . . he was running late and my coach arrived before he did, so after some convincing me that this wasn't as big of a deal as it seemed to be, my coach made the adjustment by hand - no torque wrench. My handbar stayed on in the race and worked fine.
Food: I didn't want to risk becoming ill from the Mexican food until after I raced so I brought food with me for the four days before my race. I researched what we could bring into Mexico and learned that I could bring in packaged food (not fresh food) as long as it was in unopened packages. That meant I could eat what I normally eat with these exceptions:
Coach in Cozumel
A year ago, I asked my coach to come to Cozumel with me. I hoped he would come for a number of reasons. One of the biggest reasons was that I was afraid that my bike would arrive damaged. I knew he would know what to do. That's exactly what happened. I was also nervous about training in Mexico. I had never swum distance in the ocean before and I was nervous about riding in the Mexican roads. I also thought it would help to have him see the course first-hand and advise me. I offered to pay his expenses, and hoped that the experience of coaching at Worlds would take the play of his hourly fee. I also thought that the experience would be good for him professionally and as he marketed his business. I was pleased that he agreed to accompany me (and my husband) to Cozumel.
Training in Cozumel
My coach arrived on Monday afternoon, three days before my race. Around suppertime, we road a lot of the bike course. It was an easy ride on a two-lane road that I enjoyed immensely.