Leaving the Finger Lakes

Today I’m flying from Rochester to New York City, where I’ll be visiting some friends and hopefully seeing a bit of my Alma Mater before racing the NYC Triathlon on Sunday.

My stay in Geneva has been great. My host family is wonderful! They made me salmon last night, which is my favorite meal in the world. John did the Musselman half iron distance on Sunday, and I got watch him go by mile 5 on the run where his company, Interstate Heating, was hosting an aid station. It was pouring down rain, yet the runners were still asking that the mister (it mists water out of a 7 foot tall piper) be left on. I can’t imagine it made them any more wet, but maybe the fresh water was colder than the rain, who knows. Surprisingly enough, people were even still taking wet sponges and requesting ice – I never would have guessed. John was quoted in the Finger Lakes Times yesterday because he was the only Genevan to do the race – finishing 301 out of 700 finishers (and many more starters). Anna, John’s wife, and the kids have ensured that I was more than comfortable while I was here and gave me a place to sleep about half of my waking hours in Geneva. It’s been a great homestay.

image Last night I got a delivery of my new power meter. It’s a Quarq Cinqo mounted on an FSA Team Issue crankset. I went into Geneva Bicycle Center this morning hoping they would be able to swap the crank onto my bike. It’s probably a five minute job, but I had no bottom bracket wrench. They were stacked with work and turned me away at first. I was persistent, asking if I could just borrow the wrench and do it myself. "We don’t lend wrenches" They replied, echoing one of the most fundamental rules of bike shops: don’t let anyone have the chance to misplace your tools! Finally the mechanic reluctantly agreed to do it (hey I’m the jerk coming in at 10am saying I have to leave for the airport in a couple hours and I want work done now). He told me to come back in 30 minutes, so I headed for the door to grab some breakfast. As I walked out I heard him call after me, "It’ll be 35 or 40 bucks!"  Ouch. I should charge more for swim lessons. That’s probably the steepest per time labor expense I’ve encountered with my bike, and on my ride home I realized I probably could have bought the wrench I needed for about half that, which would have given me a way to switch the old cranks back on if something happens. I hate when good ideas come too late.

End result, however, is that I have a power meter on my bike, it’s paired with the Garmin Edge 705 and when I get to New York City I’m going to see how much power it takes to outpace the pizza delivery man. 

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

Join the Conversation


  1. Awesome, I can’t believe the Quarq finally made it off the drawing table! Will be good to see how well it works with the Garmin. Now you get to do the “How many watts can I hold for how long” ride that everyone tells you not to do when you get a PM but you do anyway…. it’s inevitable.

  2. oooh power. i spent my first 3 months with the powertap going ‘oh my god that number’s really high, i don’t think i can hold that’. it was dumb and made me slower

  3. “sounds like you might also be a better mechanic”

    Where does the “also” come from? And why is he still being called “greggy greg” doesn’t he at least deserve capital letters?

    I am a better bike mechanic that Greg, which was proven on our second ride together in Marin when I fixed his front derailleur (does everyone else have to look up the spelling for “derailleur” every time? Is that french? it’s annoying is what it is!).

  4. because i am the first one who’s a better mechanic!!!! i told you this one other time!

    greg the other day: “i think i need to get the cassette on this wheel changed?” (accompanied by hopeful look in my direction)

    i do admit that derailleur adjustments are bigger deals than cassette changes but i can do that too. i have also been known to change a bottom bracket, repack a hub, etc. with only occasional eye-bats at boys for help.

    also i am a good speller independent of online dictionaries.

    in short, i am great.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *