Bike training, March 8 – 9: Everything that can go wrong…

It was a crappy weekend for my bike training. I’m getting ready for the Bike MS: Sam’s Club Ride up in the DFW area at the beginning of May so it’s important that I am able to get in my bike rides. Saturday was rainy and in the low 60s. When I decided to go out riding, it wasn’t raining yet, but I knew it would so I headed down to the Veloway to ride loops in case it started pouring – I could quickly and easily get back to my car because each loop is only 3 miles long. However, once I got there I realized I didn’t have my bike shoes. Since I can’t ride without them, back home I went to grab them. I blame the muscle relaxers I’ve been taking after straining my neck Thursday evening while riding my bike downtown. Really. And rain it did… my first loop was only misty but halfway through my second loop, it was definitely raining. I was able to keep riding until my last loop (miles 21 – 24) when the wind picked up and I got quite cold. I called it quits at that point, at a much shorter distance than I was hoping. I was drenched from head to toe. I didn’t get photos because of the rain.

Sunday started out cold and windy. After checking that my shoes were dry from Saturday, I looked at that weather and saw that later in the day it would warm up and the wind would die down. Because of that I waited to leave until about 1 pm. I headed north on Parmer Lane into a light headwind, hopeful that I would have a great tailwind on my way home.

The day started out very dreary, but at least it wasn’t raining. It was cold so I was bundled up.

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Eventually I was able to spot bits of blue in the sky. I always love this part of this route… you see the road forever in front of you.

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At mile 19 I realized my rear tire was low and slowly leaking… the same tire that went flat last weekend. I changed the tube and successfully filled up the tire with a CO2 cartridge and was on my way.

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If that were the end of my story, this wouldn’t have been a bad ride. But oh no. I kept going on Parmer to try to reach my turn around point at 25 miles, but at mile 22.5 I realized my rear wheel looked kinda low. I turned around right away so that I wouldn’t be stranded quite so far from home if the tire indeed went flat again. I pulled over and put the rest of my CO2 into the tire. At that time, a kind stranger pulled over and gave me an extra cartridge. Thank goodness, because I had to pull over a few more times to top off the rear tire with that CO2 cartridge. Oh yeah, I passed some llamas but only managed to get a photo of one llama.

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I was able to keep going to mile 35, where there is a conveniently located Bicycle Sport Shop. I went in to use their floor pump and was able to hear a leak as I pumped up the tire. I found a small piece of wire sticking out and removed it. One of the shop employees changed this flat for me. Guess what? The first tube he put in went flat immediately too! The second tube held. And as soon as I got home I ordered a new set of tires. I can’t deal with all of these flats, and I noticed that the tread pattern on the rear wheel was quite worn compared to the front wheel. I rode a total of 45 miles Sunday.

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