Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Assorted Flats

I totally forgot to write about my birthday weekend ride from the Grosvenor Metro station to DC that wasn't. I'm not even sure it's worth getting into except to say that the Bethesda Trolley Trail is a bit of a misnomer, as it actually turns into a pedestrian heavy sidewalk alongside a very busy road. We got about three miles into the ride and I was over it. It was just as well - I ended up with a flat tire after running over a particularly pointy little twig that managed to puncture my tire and my tube.

My tire was really flat.

Alyssa changed my tube out for me and we cut across the NIH campus to get on Metro at Medical Center and take the train into DC. We got down into the station and found there was single-tracking going on. We waited for about 20 minutes for a train going in the direction of DC with no luck, so we scratched that plan and got on a train in the direction of Grosvenor. We went back to the car, loaded up the bikes, and drove to our hotel in DC. We were staying in DC overnight because we had a Mystics game to attend that night and then we were having brunch with my friend Mandy and others the next morning. It didn't make sense to go back to Frederick only to come back the next morning. Once we got checked in, we had just enough time to get showered before we headed out for the Mystics game.

So, our big plan to ride into DC was scrubbed, but I'm fine with that. It ended up being that the tube Alyssa replaced my flat one with had a hole in it, so my tire had gone flat by the next morning anyway. I took all of this as a sign from above that we didn't need to be riding our bikes that weekend.

This past weekend, Alyssa had plotted out a 40 mile ride near the beach in Delaware, but the weather was not very cooperative. There were some pretty nasty storms throughout the area and we had to scrub the 40 miler when it was obvious we were going to be facing a gullywasher sooner rather than later. We still managed to get in about 17 miles before we had to cede to the might of Mother Nature.

I had been excited about riding in Delaware because I knew it would be flat. I'm not anti-hill, but one of my biggest concerns about doing a century is that, well, it's 100 miles. That's a long time for me to have my, uh, ladybits sitting on a bike seat. So while it's important to be ready for climbing some fairly formidable hills on the Challenge, I really wanted to pack in some long rides on flat roads to get used to being on a bike for an extended period of time. What I neglected to realize about riding on flat terrain is that I have to pedal a lot. At least with hills, there's a downhill part. With flat roads, you're just constantly pedaling. It's not a bad thing, but it is something I didn't really think about. I daresay it was...a little bit boring. The one cool thing is that I looked down at my Garmin and realized Alyssa and I had been averaging about 18-19MPH for a few miles. Of course, that was when we had a very short-lived tail wind. Most of the ride was spit with a very hateful headwind and demoralizing crosswinds. But we made it through - and without being struck by lightning!

Our jerseys shipped yesterday and we will have them in our hot little hands by Thursday!

No comments:

Post a Comment