Last night was the inaugural ride of Team Lo-Lo for the Livestrong Challenge Portland training. It was a windy, chilly evening that was destined to have it’s fair share of interesting moments. Getting the ‘nice outfit’ comment from guests just before my ride should have been the first clue, but nonetheless, we headed on out.
Actually the ride was fine up until ‘the moment’ – it was great to be riding with someone else instead of just flying solo, like I normally do. The only real bummer was a fairly steady headwind on a couple different stretches, but good training since we’re bound to have some wind on our 70 mile ride in September, so I didn’t really mind all that much.
At the top of Ravena, we decided to go out further to Mission State Park…but were cut down short in our efforts. About a mile or two past the top of the hill we heard the fateful noise, pulled over, and sure enough had a flat on the back of Nick’s bike. Bummer to get a flat, but I really was glad that we were riding together rather than riding solo, especially since it was the first time I had to be part of changing any kind of flat on the road. In a strange way, I actually was kind of excited that it happened – one of those rites of passage that ever cyclist has to go through at some point. Today I would become a man, well, as much of a man as a big brown guy could be in lycra on the side of the road anyway.
In fact, as I looked around, I thought ‘it’s good that it’s well into the evening so that none of ‘our people’ are out here working the fields…I don’t think we’d go over all that well in our cute little outfits.’ We both have these funky new tires that have the structure that all my kids had anytime they wanted to throw a fit in my arms and essentially lost all bones in their bodies and tried to ooze out of my arms. On most traditional tires, you can stuff the tubes up in there, and then put it on the wheel, but not so much on these, you have some crazy triple hand magic manuevering you need to do to accomplish the task. I won’t go into the whole gory story but 5-10 cars, two other cyclists, one crazy guy on a moter scooter, a split Cliff bar, and 30-35 minutes later, we were back on the road.
Since we couldn’t really read the Arabic markings on the hand pump tire guage, and since it was now getting much more chilly than when we took off, we headed back in to safety. Still got in 16 miles, so not a bad little ride. You can see the MotionBased GPS Player version of our ride here. The long pause at the top is when we were changing the tire.