Today was Jack’s ride from Surry to Waverly. I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks. Despite my early departure to drive to the ride start, I arrived late. Fortunately, the riders hadn’t left yet. It was a large ride, with approx. 30 riders.
It was nice to meet folks, and to be cycling on the Bianchi after so much trouble with it since I’ve returned home for a few weeks. Today was no different. At mile 16 or so, she flatted. Several people stopped to assist me, which is good because I didn’t realize I had a spare. We changed the tube and she flatted again. Changed again and yet another flat. Finally, we changed the tube and left very low air pressure because it looked like the problem as faulty rim tape….. or no rim tape! I made it to mile 26. The rest stop and flatted again. I cut the ride short, got a lift back to my car, and committed myself to ending this problem.
The Surly needed to go to REI anyway, so I dropped it off to get riser bars, and a new stem. While there, I picked up some rim tape and lots of tubes, to replace the tubes from other riders that I used today. Back at home, I installed the rim tape on the back tire, cut the tube up to be rim tape for the front tire, and installed that tube and put the new Gatorskins on. I also cleaned the cassette and found that there were several yards of fishing line wrapped around the cassette at the spokes and axle. Hopefully I got it all, but think I need a cassette tool to make sure. The wheel will spin more freely, if I get it all out. Now, the bike is looking good, but I’ve had a revelation. New tires weigh more than old! I really don’t care, but do hear so often that “________” weighs too much. I heard it today about using old tubes for rim tape. Of course, I do make blunders, and if the tube is a problem as rim tape, I’ll let you know.
I’ve been in communication with various folks today about the Pacific coast tour. One recommended a book called Bicycling the Pacific Coast. Got it! Looking forward to perusing it.
So today’s lesson for me is to look at every flat tube and determine what caused it. Even if it takes 2 or 3 flats, eventually, you learn what causes flats, and how to better avoid them. Also, let friends help you. I hate holding people up on a ride, but was very blessed by the kindness everyone showed today in assisting with changing the tire, and getting me back to my vehicle.
Can’t wait to get back on the road.What cycling challenges provided you with lessons?
Go make your own breeze and remember: if you’re not having fun; you’re in the wrong gear!