It’s been one hell of a week, but was finally ready to jump back on the bike. Haven’t ridden since the last training ride, and I was looking forward to today’s 50 miler. The temperature was 50° at 7:30 this morning, and I ain’t ashamed to admit my fingers were tingling from the cold as we set out. But, I felt good, and was ready to put down a solid pace, and rolled out with the front-runners.
8 miles in, and *pop* my rear tire goes flat. So, I pull off the road, and start fixing. Tire comes off, pull the tube out, check for anything stuck in the tire (otherwise it may pop the second tube), load the new tube into the tire, and the tire back on the wheel. My brother Willie gave me a CO2 pump for my birthday, so filling the tire was a breeze. For those that don’t know – the CO2 pump is a small pump about the length of a fist, that you can put a small cartridge of compressed CO2, which rapidly inflates the tire to near standard inflation. Takes only seconds. So, everything looks good, and I get back on the road.
Not half a mile down the street, *pop*! I couldn’t @#$%ing believe it. I pulled off, and this time turns out the inner-tube must have just been defective, because it split lengthwise along a seem. At this point, I’m livid. By the time I get this one replaced (I’m now down to no extra tubes) I’m the last rider out of perhaps 70. Worse, I don’t really know where I’m going, and the yellow markers on the road aren’t always easy to see. Funny thing, lats night I was considering lightening my load – removing some of the extra CO2 cartridges, maybe only carrying one spare, etc. Thankfully, I decided that since I’m already used to the weight, doesn’t make much sense to go without… just in case.
After that was fixed, I started to haul. Got to the first rest stop, waited a couple of minutes to rest my legs, and took off again. Some pretty nasty hills on this ride, but handled them just fine (one had a lot of people walking up, so I felt good about that one). Since I was essentially riding on my own today – given the large gaps in riders this far back, and since most of the riders this far back don’t set as fast of a pace as I do – I just kept pushing myself harder. I’d catch site of a group, and I’d keep pushing until I caught them. I know it’s not a race, but I had to keep my mind on something and off the two back-to-back flats.
At the second rest stop (about 30 miles in), I refilled the Camelbak, grabbed a couple of fig newtons, and kept rolling – maybe stood there for 5 minutes, tops. By the time I finished the ride, I caught up to perhaps half the riders that were out today, so I felt pretty good, even though I was exhausted.
My father’s flying in from LAX today, so not sure if I’ll do tomorrow morning’s ride. But if I do, you can bet your ass I’ll be bringing all my usual gear. 🙂
Total Distance: 49.3 mi
Moving Time: 2:56:51
Average Moving Speed: 16.7 mi/h
Max Speed: 28.7 mi/h
Min Elevation: 630 ft
Max Elevation: 935 ft
Elevation Gain: 1812 ft