May 20 2010

North Loop last Sat. 5/15/2010

I learned a few things on this ride.  But that’ll come at the end.

We had 7 guys riding the North Loop from the Wilburton P&R.  Craig and I rode my tandem from my house meeting Eddie on his Pinarello, Mike riding his Towel Rack, Eric Y on his Fuji, and two of Mikes friends from Paccar.  Craig had never ridden a tandem before so he had to close his eyes coming down my hill.  He’s so sensitive.  But he is an Animal on a bike, it felt like we were almost doing wheelies when Craig would turn it on.  On this relatively flat ride it felt like we were smokin’, I think the guys had to work a little to stay in our draft.

Craig and I are not your typical endomorphic cyclists.  Some might say we’re ‘husky’, or ‘filled out’, or …some who are socially uninhibited might dare say… ‘fat’ (me, not Craig).   So, when you put us on a tandem, that is a lot of mass to move and especially to stop.  (I said mass, not a 100% blubber.)  At a certain point on the BG, Craig and I picked it up a little, and dropped everyone but Mike on his Towel Rack.  A bit later, Mike passed us, but slowed a little in front of us, at which point, Craig and I let Mike know that if he didn’t move a little faster, he needed to prepare for a 400 pound enema.  This is not a Federal Pen, girlfriend, get moving.  At which point he sped up a little and moved to the right.  We all had a little laugh over that one.

We stopped at Zoka’s for a great mocha–the way they pour the foam is a work of art, as you can see in the picture below.

At Zoka’s I noticed our rear tire was low, I put air in, but we were on our rim at Montlake.  I put more air in, and we were on our rim again within a mile.  Towel Rack had a front flat, and we changed the tube on our rear tire.  The bead wasn’t seated, so we had to redo it.  Then we broke the valve while pumping.  Redo the flat again.  Used Eddie’s CO2 and his tube.  Later my front chain came off…easy fix.  Rear tire went flat again going up to the bridge.  We asked the others to finish the ride, while Craig and I walked to the bike shop in Leschi (Triumph).  The mechanic found the flat was on the inner edge of the tube indicating the rim flatted our tube.  New rim tape, new tube, new rear tire (Gator Hardshell-upgraded Gatorskin).

Finally, Craig and I went up the hill and hit the 90 bridge.  We caught a tri geek aero bike, aero wheels, tri bars, around the midpoint of the span, and he drafted us until the uphill.  At that point do you know what happened?  Did he drop us like a stone?  Surprise, surprise…we dropped him!  Most likely he was on the last mile of his 100 miles for the day, but we don’t care and didn’t ask.

So, the two things I learned were: 1. I thought I encountered every possible problem on a bike–I found I was wrong–I can get a flat through rim tape.  2. CO2 is a good way to inflate tires.  Especially in a group ride–it is more guaranteed that I won’t break a valve–and therefore it’s more guaranteed that I won’t waste my fellow riders’ time.  Generally I’m cheap so I’d use a pump, but next time in a group ride, I’ll use CO2 or one of those cool pumps with a foot peg–they don’t break valves either.


1 comment

  1. Ed

    And I learned that there are 2 types of CO2 cartridges: threadless and threaded. I learned this by having the wrong kind on me. Good thing for you, Ed, that someone in the group had a threaded cartridge.

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