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Daily Archives: August 15, 2018

Tuesday Night Club Ride: Flat Tired Edition

Last night’s edition of the TNCR was a mess, that’s the only way to put it.

We watched the A Group roll out at 6:01 and we followed shortly thereafter, after I called three times, “Let’s roll”.  Jonathan and I took the first turn up front.  Jonathan and I don’t do well at the front together.  For some unknown, but highly scientific, reason the two of us have a tendency to start out slow but take it to hyper-speed in a matter of seconds.  Unfortunately, at the same time we hit 21-mph, the rest of the group realized “Let’s roll” meant “my friends, it is Tuesday at 6:02pm in the evening (lady redundant woman) and we are astride our bicycles, which means it would be about that time to depart on our most excellent ride”.  Which also meant they were about a half-mile back.

There were five of us off the front and as soon as we realized the other fifteen members of our group weren’t there, we sat up so they could catch us.

Of course, on their catching up we were informed that it was all our fault.  It didn’t improve much from there.

Riding was tough last night.  Hot, sticky, Dave described it best, methinks, “the air is thick”.  Heading down Shipman Road was downright miserable, dead into a headwind that was barely there, but smacked you in the forehead like a 2×4.  Ironically, this was the first time in the ride that the rotation started to work properly.  Normally we’ll have guys scrambling to hide behind stronger riders when the headwind hits, but for once, people were pulling through.

I wasn’t taking too many turns up front at that point, maybe one or two more than normal, but we had the hills coming up and I had a feeling they were going to be ugly into a cross headwind from the left.  I wasn’t mistaken.  The order shuffled on each of the three humps till we hit the top.  Then we got stuck behind a train after we rounded the corner to start the next climb.  I welcomed the breather.

The next three hills kind of shook the group out and I think that was what was needed, because after the regroup, everything seemed to come together.  The sprint was like any other sprint, except I timed Toby just right and he ran out of gas (for once) about 200 yards from the City Limits sign.  I took it by a good margin.  We reformed in town and headed for the home stretch…

The gang was rolling nicely at something like 25 or 26-mph with a decent cross tailwind when we came up to a 10′ chunk of road that had been torn up to get cable across the road.  Amazingly I picked the perfect line through the gravel and made it through smoothly… or so I thought.  A minute later my bike started bouncing with each pedal-stroke, the telltale sign of a flat.  I raised my arm, yelled “FLAT”, and worked over to the side of the road.

I expected to be left alone on the side of the road to fix my tire – I wouldn’t have stopped for anyone either, but I was shocked to see Jonathan peel off the back of the group and head toward me.  I made quick work of the tire and tube, almost blowing my CO2, but I’d gotten enough into the tube and we were on our way.

Ukulele Dave, after dropping somewhere back in the hills, caught us just as I was getting my tire seated on the rim and joined us for the last seven-ish miles back to the parking lot.  Jonathan and I had kicked around whether to hammer it home or take it easy, but we never made a decision…  I made it for us.  23-mph was easy enough so we kept it there all the way to the City Limits sign, though Dave did nothing more than sit in our draft.  Jonathan and I were hitting it pretty hard and rolling over every couple of miles.  We rolled over the City Limits sign with a 20.8 average (so Strava said – Jonathan ended with a 20.7).

So here’s my takeaway after that mess of a ride…

First, there wasn’t anything I’d have rather been doing on a Tuesday evening.  Second, even though most of the ride seemed like a mess, when I was off the back with a flat, a friend stuck around to help me out.  Man, it doesn’t get much better than that.  Third, hey, it sure beat work.

The special at the diner last night was an “inside-out grilled cheese” sammich with a bowl of chili.  And to think I almost went for a small pizza instead!  If you’re a fan of the grilled cheese sammich and ever see an inside-out option on the menu, get it.  Freakin’ amazing.