We have a mystery on our hands, and it revolves around a skewer. Literally. A Bontrager Carbon skewer to be exact. And it’s getting deeper and more mysterious.
It all began this weekend in Hamilton, Ontario… Canada. Curt treated us to a weekend getaway to the Binsbrook Triathlon, which is parts of the HSBC Triathlon Series. I began my triathlon career in Canada at the Subaru Triathlon Series, so I felt like I was cheating on my friends at Trisport Canada…. but I was so pleasantly surprised at how excellent this race was…. I shall make it a point to do another this or next season.
Canada is an East Coast mecca for triathletes. In fact Lisa Bentley lives in the next town over form Hamilton. Nicole Stevens Elite Marathon runner is from Ontario. Lori Bowden herself was born from the Subaru Triathlon series. Jamie Cleveland, Jasper Blake, Treza Macel, Melissa Spooner… the list goes on. Racing in Canada I have raced with so many amazing athletes that I always follow their careers and victories.
Nonetheless Curt and I arrived rather early at the BInsbrook triathlon, when I noticed something rather strange. I put my front wheel on my bike, and my skewer…. it was the skewer for a back wheel!
How could this be?
I retraced my travels in my head. Last week I rode with Kevin and Kitima to Eagleman. But my bike was on the outside of the car on a rear hitch. The wheels…. during that whole trip were never changed. I left with my race wheels on. I raced with them on, and I came home with them on.
I have a rule about bikes. I am the only one who tinkers with my bike. When race wheels need to be removed… I remove them. When things need adjusted… I adjust them. I firmly believe we need to be responsible for our own bike. That way should something go wrong…. headset loose, etc, then the blame can not be shifted.
So when I removed my race wheels after Eagleman, like always my Bontrager Skewers remained in the wheel and I hung the wheel up where I always hang the wheels up. Done. Finished.
Saturday morning when I loaded the car my bike went inside and the front wheel went next to the bike. No skewer removed.
Let me flash back for a moment to the week before Eagleman. I noticed that my race wheel was in fact missing its skewer. A quick look around the garage and I found it in one of Curt’s 300 ace wheels. He had stolen it! Denial soon followed but I allowed him off the hook. My Bontrager skewers came with my Bontrager wheels and that’s where they’d stay. We have 8,000 front skewers in the skewer box, so take another!
That moment in Binsbrook…. Curt became prime suspect #1. I looked at his wheels. No Bontrager skewer was there. But of course we had no extra skewers. Steam rose from my ears. I was positive, absolutely positive that Curt had made the switch.
Not intentionally…… I imagined he saw the skewer again and the opportunity to make a switcheroo… and he must have put the wrong one on. JUST FESS UP! I cried.
“I didn’t do it!” He retaliated. He’s denying because he is embarrassed or he forgot. I was very certain of this. He scrambled around the race sight and found me a front skewer… so my race was on. Whew!
I love to race in Canada for so many reasons, and this day brought me the opportunity to race with 2 Canadian National Team Members. Knowing this would elevate my race and theirs I was both excited yet full of dread. After 3 straight weeks of racing and traveling…. I was pooped. I need the speedwork so this 750 meter swim / 28 k bike and 6.6 k run was just perfect. The weather was hot and I was ready.
During the swim I found a partner with a woman, who would eventually win the race. She was a National team member and we seemed to share similar abilities. We swam together and as we rounded the first buoy we began to catch the slower men. I tucked in behind her and allowed her to make the navigation through the pack. She picked a great line and I was excited to be competing with someone of similar ability.
Onto the bike I was equally as happy as she and I seemed to have similar bike abilities. While I did catch her by 5K she legally hung in behind me. I was so delighted in the etiquette of the Canadians. There were no marshalls out there but every single person obeyed the passing and the non drafting rules. I wanted to cheer and scream!
Into T2 she edged ahead of me with a faster dismount, and then disaster struck. I ran into transition and….. what race was I at? Pittsford? Eagleman….. where the heck did I rack? for the first time in my life I could not find my rack!!!!!
I noticed the horrified look of the crowd, so I smiled and shouted “I’M NEW!” to which I received a loud round of applause. After ninety seconds I found my bike, laughing so hard I fell over onto my butt trying to get my shoe on. I received another round of cheers as I finally left transition…. I could see the lead woman in front of me.
I was running well over some strange surfaces; rocks, crushed stone, grass, dirt, and oh… there were some nasty little hills out there! As we headed to the turnaround I saw the lead woman in front of me and saw her walk the aid station / turnaround. She spotted me and began to run again. Now had I not screwed up transition I would have been right with her, which disappointed me because win or lose a race I wanted the opportunity to run hard next to someone. Our run splits were the same I believe so this was a race that I had completely lost in transition. Either way I was thrilled with 2nd place, sandwiched in between 2 terrific women. To top it all off I was only 3 minutes behind Curt’s bike split, which especially after three weeks of lots of racing was excellent for me. And I did nab him by one second on the swim! Hooray!
I was so impressed with the HSBC series as well. Top notch in terms of quality and in terms of quantity.
Curt was looking strong out there all day long and smashed the field on Father’s Day to take home the overall win. Yay for Curty!
But back to the skewer mystery. Curt knew he resided as prime suspect #1. We agreed that once we got home we would look together, so that there would be no chance of tampering with evidence. After a wonderful Father’s Day celebration with my parents and Luc at their home in Buffalo…. we arrived home for the moment of truth.
I inspected each and every one of Curt’s wheels. No skewer. I inspected mine. No skewer. I looked in the skewer pile. No skewer. We looked at one another.
No, Luc lacks the fine motor skills to unscrew a skewer (but that would be a good occupational therapy exercise for him… mental note). And the wheels are hung out of his reach.
“So…” Curt concluded…. “Your wheels never left your bike the whole time you were in Eagleman.”
“Correct” I stated.
“Did you race with that skewer at Eagleman?”
“No” I said “The wheels would have come off at least during transfer.”
“Then how did it get changed?” He asked. I suspected he and he suspected me. We each suspected the other person. Now our suspicion was not from the theme that anyone did it maliciously. Accidentally. Like Curt maybe saw my beautiful skewer and wanted it for his own? And just didn’t realize as he was making the fast switch.
Again denied and I have no evidence to prove it.
“Bring in Kevin and Kitima!” He cried this morning.
“Now wait a minute, they are innocent. Neither touched my bike!” I reported “You are bringing in innocent people to shift the focus of the investigation!!!!!”
So the mystery of the switched skewer now gets filed into the very same category as the mouse who inhabited my car. Because to this day we do not know what ever became of him either.
Thanks for stopping by.