I decide to give the bike a final visual inspection before the race. As my eyes turn towards the chain, something seems out of place, missing. Realization like a stab to the guts when I figure out that the goddamn clip that holds the master link in place is gone! It must have fallen off in practice, despite being safety wired and siliconed in place.
I yell for my brother, who is dozing in a chair, wiped out by the mounting Georgia heat and humidity. I don't know why I did this, it's not as if he can help, or even knows where a spare master link clip might be. I jump into the back of the van and start tossing out parts bins. I catch a small break and locate one in the first bin I open. It looks serviceable enough, there is no time to find another as the announcer makes first call for my race.
I pause for a moment, force myself to breathe, knowing that the clip must be installed properly with care, lest I lose another one. I gently press the clip into place as my heart tries to pound its way up my throat. It's a stark reminder of how small the things are that keep us from disaster....had that master link come apart there is no telling what could have happened. A small shiver passes through my body despite the heat, as I force the dark thoughts from my mind.
|"It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing. Such a little thing." -Boromir|
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