A good morning, but not a great night

This morning, I went over to Frank’s to see if he could help me with my rudder pedal assembly. I had an idea of how to jury rig the pedal, but I wasn’t sure how to implement it. Fortunately, Frank is a lot smarter than me when it comes to fixing things, and he has the advantage that he installed this rudder assembly originally. It took us a couple of hours of reaching around into the depths of the kayak with screwdrivers and ratchets, but it worked.

It seems to be holding, but I’m looking forward to getting the replacement parts next week – the company that made the rudder system redesigned the tracks a few years ago to make them out of aluminum instead of plastic, and they tell me I can just swap out the tracks without changing any other parts – but of course first I’ll have to undo all the great jury rigging that Frank and I did. Tim of PaddlersSupply.com and Tom of TopKayaker.net got me hooked up and they are sending me the new parts, so I should have them in time for the Rochester Open Water Challenge.

The Time Trail kind of sucked tonight. First problem was that I forgot my GPS and heart rate monitor. Dan loaned me his GPS but I still didn’t have the heart rate chest band, and he took it home afterwards so I didn’t get to download the info. It was raining, but not too cold. The wind was blowing from the south, meaning that you started into the bay with enough tail wind to make waves, but not enough to really help you go fast. I think I was making around 6.2 or 6.3 mph. Turning in the waves was the usual adventure, especially when I wasn’t too sure about the rudder, and then coming back into the wind was slow, probably around 5.8 or 5.9. My split was around 9.9 minutes, compared to 9.53 last week. Going up the creek was a little better in spite of the headwind and the increasing rain, but it was a struggle to keep the speed up over 6.1. I did the turn the “normal” (counter clockwise) way – last week Jim Mallory convinced us that doing it the other (clockwise) way is probably faster because of the geometry of the final turn before the buoy, but I wanted to avoid full right rudder tonight. The way back was faster, of course, with a good tail wind and the current, so I was seeing speeds between 6.4 and 6.8. My final time was around 19.6 (compared to 19.20 last week), so my second half was faster than the first half. Paul D was a tiny bit faster than me tonight – I think Ken said he beat me by 7/100s of a minute. Oh well, when you’re only a few hundreds of a minute faster than a guy one week, you’ve got to expect that he’s only got to make a tiny improvement or you a tiny mistake to change the order the next. I’ll get him back next week.