While I have milled about pondering my future in triathlon, specifically that portion of triathlon that stands between my beloved bike and the finish line, I have been riding... a lot. And with an increase in riding often comes an increase in the associated obstacles: in this case, flat tires and mechanical failures.
It all started with Big C getting his chain link panties in a wad. By wad, I mean this:
|Chain link panties all wadded up!|
|Can you see the keeper wedged into the links?|
Not how that is supposed to look!
I had to call a friend for a ride home for the first time in my riding career. Well, I shouldn't have gotten too comfy with that idea since one of the downsides to my lifestyle is that unless I am at a horse show, it is unlikely that I would be anywhere near a friend to call. Fortunately, this little mechanical happened during a show and I called my friend who is best known as Wilbur's beloved Auntie D (who has one wicked throwing arm!). Auntie D, who is in the process of remaking herself in the image of a cyclist, came to my rescue since Big C had told me where I could stuff it.
That little mechanical was like the first big raindrops before the deluge begins.
Next, I went for a group ride on Little C and three blocks into the ride, picked up a screw. Not just any screw but the screw you would want Cerebus' chain bolted to while you are stealing his breakfast. It was a really big screw. I was of course riding with the shop guys for the first time and wearing my shiny new (WHITE) team kit for the first time. No pressure. I hadn't had to change a flat in so long, I was all thumbs. Well, that got changed and I was suitably mortified. Then (and possibly because of this), my breathing went south and I decided that today was not my day. I peeled off from the group and rode home. Later that day, I rode solo and put down a confidence boosting effort.
|THIS big!! I swear!!|
Two days later, I went out on Little C again. I knew it was going to be raining but I reminded myself that I don't melt and I can't choose the weather on race day. I kicked myself out the door.
|Like water off a duck's back, right??|
I was about halfway home on an out and back when I rolled through standing water on a bridge and both tires immediately ruptured. I changed my flats but the front was not holding air. I would later find a tiny shred of embedded glass that was only apparent when the tire was stretched inside out. I was now out of tubes. I rode a few minutes before the front was totally flat again, added more CO2, and repeated... until the CO2 was also gone. Then I started walking.
|No kidding. Wild cotton. |
I am Mac-effing-gyver!
I made it home covered in a pretty spectacular amount of road grim but otherwise in one piece. My cleats were not so fortunate and were replaced the next day.
|Road grime at it's finest!|
A couple of days later, I showed up to a Tuesday morning group ride on Wednesday morning... yeah, one of those days... and decided to tackle the hills of West Austin solo. The first road hazard I encountered on this ride was a spider. A big spider. A spider so large and creepy that I would have thrown myself into traffic to avoid it. I didn't realize that tarantulas went cruising down the side of the highways in Texas but now I know. Big. BIG... ENORMOUS... tarantula. You cannot imagine how creepy they are when they crawl because unlike little spiders, you see every articulated movement. ***shiver***
|It most likely looked like this...|
|...but I saw this...|
|...and did this!|
|Flat no. 5: much better than spiders.|
|Wilbur and I both like to sport cat 4 tattoos!|