Friday, July 24, 2009
It's been a busy summer so far. Too many fun activities to choose from. Training for Ultraman has been good, but often leaves me exhausted. Conrad's travels and racing have kept him away for most of the summer. So, on a recent sunny day we did a fun training day without heart rate monitors or a plan at all. It was our first ride of the year at Hole in the Ground at Donner Summit. One of my favorite places of all times to ride! There was still snow in a lot of places, but it was mostly ride able. The only down side was that we were in the middle of the mosquito hatch and stopping was not allowed.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I nearly always ride with my camera for various reasons, but mostly because when I don't have it I wish I'd brought it. On a recent ride through Sierra Valley I passed this group of bees on the side of the road. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I did stop and watch for a bit.
My other random event of the week was on my intended "long ride". I had this amazing route planned out, but just before I climbed the pass to get out of town I heard a bang. I pulled over and looked at my tire..... damn. It wasn't just a simple flat, the tire decided to give up before we even began. There was a huge hole. I whipped the cell phone out and made a couple calls. All I got was voice mail. I guess people have to work sometime. Left on my own at the top of Geiger Grade was a little intimidating. I was almost to the summit (6700 ft) when the blowout happened and it was going to be a hairy descent to get back to the valley floor.
I left the cell phone sitting out just in case someone happened to call back to rescue me while I was trying to fix the tire.
With no returning phone calls I got to work on the problem. I tried putting a bar wrapper inside the tire and putting a new tube in, but at about 35 psi the tube started pushing the bar wrapper out through the hole. This wasn't going to work. Suddenly an idea struck me. About 10 minutes later I was on my way back down Geiger and to the nearest bike shop.
I ended up wrapping the tube as tightly as I could around the wheel while keeping it as thin as possible. Then I loosened the brake (actually I had no rear brake). Front brake only, I crossed my fingers and toes as I slowly descended the pass. Fortunately there is a bike shop near the bottom and I made it there with no further incident. I got a look of disbelief when I told them this happened at the top of Geiger. New tire in place I continued on with my ride.