Monday, May 1

Learning Curved

Going into another weekend with no real plan.  Take one day off and accomplish things... recovery day.  Go for a ride somewhere with someone(s)... "training" day.

Saturday became accomplishment day, and a few texts and PMs later, I'm on the guest list for BC's birthday ride in DuPont for Sunday Funday.

Wake up at 6:00AM for a gas station meetup at 8:40AM to be twenty minutes early for an 11:00AM start which slowly turns into an 11:45AM start... because group rides in the black hole known as DuPont.

One stout climb and we hit the first descent.  I let Colin come around because he's riding his new squish plusser.  He gets a little playful, boosts off something on the trail, lands slightly off to the side in the rough, and flicks up a stone that looks like Fred Flintstone's license plate.

It's still midair when my brand new rear wheel makes contact.  A loud "kapow" and then "ssssssssssssss."

So ends the three year streak of the flat-free Ardent Race.

It's pretty huge tear along the bead at the sidewall.  Freak accident.  I've only got one plug, so a tube is going in and a lesson about to be learned.  Pull out my tube, stick it in, inflate... "sssssssssssss."


Back when I went to crabon rims over two years ago, I had to get new tubes with 48mm long valve stems.  New lighter tubes for racing only, checked after each event, and safely and loosely stored in a dark place.  New heavier tubes to put on the bike for just riding along.  I haven't had a flat in two years, which means that 99% of all the non race-related riding I've done has been with the same tube strapped to my bike the whole time... unchecked.

So do as I say and not as I do, kids.  When you're in close proximity to your spare tube and a pump, and you're bored, go ahead and pull it outta your strap, hydration pack, saddle bag, the cardboard box you duct taped to the bottom of your saddle... give it a check.  It's only a millimeter or less in thickness, so yeah.  Bad things happen.  Dammit.  A quick unfurl, inflate, deflate, refurl can make you life more buenos.

Now it's time to start borrowing things from all my little friends.   First try, a tube with a too short valve stem and that leads to me wasting my other CO2.  Any other friends?

 photo cred: Jason
Birthday boy BC pulls out a fresh tube and his handy CO2/pump thing, and I'm rolling again.  I should take it easy the rest of the day.  Riding on tubes blows.

Some more rolling around and hanging it out later, and I come up short trying to get through a rocky section and... "ssssssssssssssssss."

Hey, friends.

This time Rod comes through with a tube (long stem, thank) and CO2.  I tell the group that this time I mean it, I will behave on every descent from here on out.

A slight down grade later (Stone Mountain?) and I roll through what appears to be a sorta muddy section that turns out to be a mud bog that stops my bike dead in its track and then I'm doing the most amazing scorpion feeling the bike still attached to my feet and then seeing it flung trebuchet style over my head and down the trail towards Kurt.  Ouch.  At least Paul didn't run me over, so that was nice.

photo cred: Jason
Okay, I get it.  I'm having a bad day.  I mean, it was a great day in the woods with some excellent company on a route masterminded by Rod that had me clueless as to my whereabouts on the planet, but as far as my me-to-to-bike-earth connection?  Not as bueno.  I've got dirt under my grip, my chain is covered in sand, my bar end plug is barely holding in there (not wanting to take a human core sample in an upcoming wreck), my bell got spun around into my brake lever, my four week old Ardent Race is toast, all four of my limbs are abraded... my calf got punched by something while I was flailing around in the mud.

When it's all said and done tho, back in the parking lot, friends, beer, conversations and everything is all better.  I had a bad day, but it was still a good day.

But as soon as I got home, I did take my back wheel into the shower with me to clean it up so I could mount my backup Ardent Race that I somehow must have known I was going to need when I placed my last order with Maxxis months ago.  I needed to at least take something back from the black cloud of bike bad luck.

Now to get the rest of the Vertigo Meatplow V.7 ready for a hopefully less eventful PMBAR.

Doh, late edit.  I should mention that upon close inspection, there was zero damage to my NOX Farlow rim, so buenos.

1 comment:

bloodpuddle said...

A bad day on the bike is still better than two burritos.