Tuesday, July 28, 2009
are you *@#!! kidding me?
This morning T-dub and i got out good and early to ride the Alpine Loop. We were hoping to do it in five hours so we could get back by eleven and she could get to work by noon. We were making good time until we started to head up Provo Canyon. We had a bit of a head wind, but i felt really slow and sluggish heading up the bike path to Vivian Park. As we pulled off the bike path i realized the reason was because my front tire had gone low. It hadn't flatted, but just lost a bit of air, so i put some more air in and hoped it would seal. We started up the canyon and made the turn up towards sundance. On the first two miles i realized the tire was getting low again, so we stopped at sundance for me to change tubes. Because i've learned my lesson the hard way, i did the "bloody finger test" and not finding anything put the new tube in, inflated it, and we were on our way. Not more than 3 k up the road i heard the tell tale hiss of another flat.
Dang! i couldn't believe it. I sat down in the road and fixed this one as well, and then we were off. We were nearing the top and enjoying the aspens when, hissss, thump, hissss, thump, hissss, thump.
"Are you kidding?" i thought. "Again?!" T-dub and i were each carrying one extra tube (i usually carry two, but had given one to my brother the other day when he flatted and forgot to replace it), but we had gone through my original and both replacement tubes at this point. I got off and started to walk as i tried to figure out what to do. T-dub checked her saddle bag and found a small patch kit, so we sat down and i patched one of the tubes. Fortunately i had loaded up on CO2 cartridges the other day when we were heading out for a CX ride through the desert. Even though we only had two extra tubes, i had 4 CO2 cartridges, so we patched the tube and got moving.
Flat tire no. 5 (counting the "no work" patches)!!
We reached the top and started the descent when i felt the front end get mushy and heard the hiss and thump repeating again. "No F#$@*^! way! Again!?! F#$@*!% unbelievable!" Unfortunately the patch kit was a "no glue" patch kit, which really means a "no work" patch kit. I know because i tried two patches on two tubes and neither held. Yes, that was the foreshadowing to tell you that i patched another tube, inflated it, and started out, but got no further than ten feet before it went bad. I had one cartridge left, and tried to fix the tube, but the cartridge wouldn't thread right onto the inflater thing, so there we were at the top of the Alpine Loop with no cell phone service (not that anyone would have driven all the way up there to pick us up anyway) having gone through three tubes, two patches and three cartridges (four counting the one that wouldn't thread) .
The cartridge that wouldn't thread!!
We started walking down, hoping someone with a truck would offer us a ride. One of the great things about riding the Alpine Loop on weekdays is there's not much traffic. One of the lousy things about riding the Alpine Loop on weekdays when you've flatted three times and gone through two patches and all of your cartridges is that there's not much traffic. Such was the case today. Seems like the only cars that passed us were Lincoln Towncars full of retirees. One guy on a motorcycle did stop and offer to ride to the bottom of the canyon where he could get cell reception and make a cell phone call for us. We thanked him, but told him we'd hope for a ride from someone.
Could have been worse. At least the view was nice.
Not much later we saw a guy walking his bike up the canyon. "Looks like you're in the same boat as us," i said, but turns out he was just tired and wanted to walk to stretch his legs. He had a pump and we gave it a try, but the tube wouldn't hold air, so we kept walking. Finally after about a mile or so of walking (not something i recommend in cycling cleats) a group of guys heading down the canyon stopped and offered us a tube and cartridge. We gladly accepted and soon thereafter were on our way. Needless to say, what i hoped would be a five hr. ride turned into seven and T-dub was quite a bit late for work.
Big thanks to the guys who provided the tube and cartridge. Sure beat walking the rest of the canyon or even hitching a ride in the back of a pickup!!
Trying to keep up with T-dub just before flat no. 3!