Here is a more thorough idea of what’s been going on with me and my road bike in the last two weeks.

At the Fidelity Investments Grand Prix of Beverly promoted by Twitter Paul With Kid Race Appearances By The MetLife – NorEast Team I decided to take an inside line on the start/finish along the fencing where sponsor banners were, in hopes of moving up while the field was strung out.

This, as it turns out, was a bad idea.

A Pedro’s banner blew out in front of me, my brain had enough time to see it and think “Oh, dear, there is no way this is going to work out well”, but not enough time to avoid it. The banner caught my bars, bringing me to the pavement at about 30 mph. Yep, not working out well!

My brother in boat shoes (and in chest hair and general virility) Evan Huff also wanted to hang out on the pavement. We were both sad, and sort of bloody.

Not smiling. Grimacing because there’s a lot of sweat in open wounds.

We got pit bikes and got back in the race. I only ended up lasting a few more laps, as I spent most of my time closing gaps around dudes who were blowing up. After doing that for a few laps, I was tired, and I got dropped, I was sad.

I collected my bike from the pit. It was a wreck. It looked like it had been crashed at 30. Weird. I really had no idea the extent of the damage because so many superficial things were messed up (bars/hoods/fork all wonky, wheels apparently out of true, etc). Evan’s bike was in a similar state, though it was clear that he had broken his fork (sad Evan).

Please note that he and I are formulating a theory about how this was Meg Bilodeau’s doing.

ANYWAY. I went home and dealt with my wounds, realized the cold I was on the brink of had become a full on cold, covered my left leg in Tegaderm and brought my bike to Exeter Cycles for a professional inspection. My cursory inspection indicated that the right shifter was done for, non-driveside crank arm was cracked and rear wheel was toast. But the frame seemed fine!

Mike at Exeter cycles took a look at it (after I dropped it off wearing my Tegaderm suit) and informed me that, nope, incorrect, frame was wrecked. Where “wrecked” means “rear triangle was bent by about 2cm, all wheels that go in rub on the chainstay, it’s done.”

So THIS MADE ME SAD. I chatted with the shop (and Cannondale), got some numbers on what a new frame (or a new bike) would cost. However, when I shared this information with Mr. Bank Account, he got really angry at me and there was some yelling. So it made sense for me to just race the remainder of the year (a few crits) on my cross bike.

If you have been reading this internet site for a while, you’ll remember that my cross bike is the only cross bike I’ve ever owned – a 2006 Cannondale frame currently built with a 105/Rival mix.

Cross bike, as seen in 201A in 2006.

So that was an idea. I chatted with Aaron about this, and how my primary driver was Mr. Bank Account and his desire for me to save up for a “roof” or something lame like that (tip: never buy a house, ever. All you’ll do is shovel money into it in hopes of preventing it from falling down).

That was the Monday after Beverly. I planned on racing my cross bike at the upcoming ENGVT Concord Criterium To Feed Jerry’s Savior Complex (after I got over my continuing cold, which I eventually gave to Amanda, so basically my house looked like a ballpit but with dirty tissues instead of balls (there were still balls, though, if you know what I mean (#balls))).

I went to bed at my regular Ryan Kelly Is Sick hour of 8:45, and when I woke up, I had an email from Aaron asking “How many dollars would you need to get a bike together?” I told him what the quote was from Exeter – the price for a new frame, replacement parts, etc. He said “Oh, great, well I have raised that much money for your bike.”

Wait what?

It appears that one of the advantages of going to bed early is that your friend can quickly execute a fundraiser to get you the money for a new road bike. And then you can wake up, and it’s all been pulled together.

And a secret pal covers the cost of the CAAD10 frame from Cannondale.

And an order was placed for a pair of Zipp 30s on your behalf from other pals, overnighted so they’ll be in in time for Concord.



Yes. So, um, yeah.

More story now.

I put the Zipps on my cross bike. It felt…a bit better.

Add some #palwheels and it's a crit racing machine!

A photo posted by @ryantkelly on

But it was still an eight year old frame that I’ve only ridden in the winter for the last two years. So…yeah. Any nice wheels are sort of nullified by the crap frame they are on.

I got in the race. And raced for a while, while I hocked up green things and tried to get the front and felt like my bike was folding in half beneath me in every turn.

HOW IS THIS BIKE NOT FALLING APART BENEATH ME?!? (photo stolen from Facebook and taken by Nick Czerula)

Then I decided to try to chase back Keith Kelly and Adam Carr right when their move went…and then I blew up and did not finish the race. Due to a combination of lots of things.

But, I’ll tell you what, crit turnin’ on a crappy old cross bike is NOT FUN and I was looking forward to having a ROAD BIKE AGAIN.

Then Monday came, I talked to Exeter Cycles and my bike was in the process of being built! It would probably be done on Tuesday! But first I had to bring them my wheels and chainrings.

Of course I realized this after I took the scooter to work, so I had to scoot home, get wheels, scoot back to greater Exeter.

Two tubes = wheel backpack.

On Tuesday I got the call from Mike that my bike was FRIGGIN DONE. So I went there and got it. And Mike put a bottle cage on it.

New right shifter, new non-driveside crank, new frame, new wheels. Jon Page cassette because I continue to live dangerously/cheaply.

I took out it for a quick spin to make sure it fit right and I had a giant shit-eating grin on my face because holy shit have you ever ridden a CAAD10 after having not ridden a CAAD10? It makes you feel like you’re strapped to a rocket train that also has superfluous lasers attached to it.

And now it’s Wednesday and I’m going to race in Salem on a sweet-ass bike that is the physical embodiment of ALL OF YOUR LOVE FOR ME.

HAHAHA YOU IDIOTS WHO HEPLED ME OUT THIS MEANS YOU LOVE ME. And I appreciate it. I really do. Aaron said he wanted to help me out because I help out cycling. I do what I can, and anyone who is part of the scene of “amateur cyclists who are sort of okay but just want to race all the damn time” does what they can. Without doing little things to help cycling, I wouldn’t be able to race all the damn time. So by helping me out, you also FURTHER help out cycling in two ways:

  1. I will be able to keep racing and create “content”, I guess, and support events!
  2. I will not race my cross bike, and I will not kill the entire field when it folds in half in the last corner of some crit.

So, thank you to the following people for supporting me and other things:

  • Ryan Hubbs – I don’t know you. Maybe we met at cross worlds when I was drunk. But we have the same name so we’re bros.
  • Charles Fowler – Thanks for getting me thinking about how to solve this issue, and for joining me for roller sessions in my barn in the dead of winter. And random coffee shop commutes.
  • Peter Bell – PETER! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to race bikes and a reason to sit on the front endlessly, and you probably want me on a real bike so I don’t kill you.
  • Colin Reuter – Thanks for helping me out here, and in my career by answering my terrible and annoying programming questions.
  • Todd Rowell – One time you gave me a bit of a push after Constitution Hill at the Housatonic Hills road race and it literally kept me in the group.
  • Steve Hopengarten – Thanks for taking me mountain biking that time. I had fun until you made me ride over a big rock and break my chain.
  • Jason Fowler – Thanks for the socks that time!
  • Landen Wark-Acebo – Thank you for appreciating coffee with me, and for yelling at me when I’m doing dumb things during races.
  • Alex Cox – Thanks for being my bro and being one of the few people who enjoys absurd bike rides as much as I do.
  • Austin Roach – Thanks for showing me that maybe sometimes it’s okay to wear a bathing suit in public. I’m only sort of sorry about the things I said about your crocs, though.
  • Joel Eckman – Hi Joel. I don’t know you. Maybe I do. See also “cross worlds”.
  • Deb Amundo – Hi Deb. See Joel above.
  • Carlos Danger – dongs.
  • Russ Campbell – Thank you for being the Official Photographer Of Ryan Kelly’s Twitter Avatar, and for actually making me be excited to be a real grownup with a family.
  • Nick Czerula – Thank you for inspiring me to take photos of road-side trash.
  • Mike Hoover – Hi Mike. Did we meet at cross worlds?
  • Mike (and everyone) at Exeter Cycles – Seriously. If you live near this shop and aren’t a patron, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. They will do everything that they can to work with manufacturers to help out their customers. And holy crap can they tune a bike.
  • Anonymous Angels – thanks for the wheels and the frame!

Lastly, I’d like to thank all of your moms.

…because they all did swell jobs raising you all to be compassionate members of the cycling community.

I am going to go pound coffees because I race in three hours.

I love you all.

#palbike is a go. @ahubbe @chas_f

A photo posted by @ryantkelly on


2 thoughts on “#palbike”

  1. As Ryan’s co-worker, someone who has had to schlep his godforsaken cross bike around the office, not to mention actually having to ride with him, listening to THE WORST JANKED-UP ZERO LUBE TRASHED RACES SQUARE BALLS WINTERS OF NEGLECT HEADSET ON THE PLANET EARTH, thank you. Well, sort of thank you.

    I had this thought, admittedly stupid, that somehow riding his tank of a cross bike, the playing field may have been leveled slightly. I was swiftly proven wrong a week or so ago when we went full bore down 111 and I held his wheel for all of a minute, mind you I was riding a full carbon race bike with 50mm wheels. Now there is simply no hope at all, as he has returned to something serviceable and safe and fast and absent of dents.


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