Sunday, September 5, 2010

At Least This Time I Handled It Better

Yes, that title is referring to the fact that I had ANOTHER flat tire yesterday.

It was a 4:30 wake up call, headed down to Cambridge, MD for a 7:15 clip in time. There was a beautiful sunrise so I thought that was a sign of good things to come. Until I saw the white caps on the Choptank river. And the birds having a hard time flying into the wind. Not a good sign...

I got the meeting point to find Shannon getting ready, Emily pulled in behind me, and Melissa and Tammy were soon to follow.

Shannon, Emily and I rolled out with a challenge to Melissa and Tammy to catch us. Emily was long gone and that left Shannon and I. The ride was going well, into the wind or a crosswind. The first 45 mile loop was pretty uneventful. That was until we hit the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and Earl left us a little present. Some nice flooding to bike through. I meant to take a picture, but didn't get the opportunity.

After Shannon and I refueled and were about to head out when we saw Melissa and Tammy. After some discussion of the head and cross winds, we picked a new route and were on our way. Melissa turned back, Emily was still long gone, and we were down to 3. A few more stops, but I was feeling really good.

Then, about mile 68, I felt something in the back. I yelled at Shannon "Oh no". She didn't believe it until she rode up next to me. Sure enough, flat rear tire. We tried to put some air in to ride to the visitor center, but it wouldn't take. I managed to ride, standing (as to not put pressure on the rim) to a safer place change. And find Tammy. When we saw her, she just busted out laughing, not believe that I had another flat - on the rear tire.

With all my recent practice, and lesson from Conte's on how to change my rear tire without covering myself in chain grease, all went pretty well. I searched the rim of the wheel, the tire, and I could not find any reason to why I had another flat. At this point, I figured I would head back to the car, straight to Conte's and get a new wheel. But the tire was back on, filled with C02, and there was only tears from laughter.

Once we made it back to the cars, Emily was there (after she went for her run (yes, she is fast)) and told me to get back out there. I said earlier that morning I had to get in 91 miles. At some point I changed it to 101. After the flat, I was happy with 76. But Emily told me to get going, so I did (after I borrowed another C02), and I took Shannon with me. HA! After about 5 miles into a head wind, I was hating myself, and I think Shannon was too.

But, we did make it about 93 miles with a moving average around 15 mph. Given the wind, flooded areas, extra heat (it was over 80 - not expected), and flat, I was really happy with the ride. Especially my attitude in regards to another flat.

And yes, I did celebrate at Sonic on my way home.

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