Sunday, 2 March 2008

Another long bike ride - and puncture stories

I'm posting about last week's exercise backwards so please bear with me .. with luck you'll get a few posts tonight. One of the advantages of the cricket .. which I'm not watching.

On Saturday morning I went on a long bike ride with the Pedal Power group. The New Horizons course took us along, so that we'd know about this regular Saturday morning ride. I got there early (it wasn't where I thought it was going to be, which meant I didn't have to ride as far to get there) and had a chat with a few of the women before we started. I like that part, as I'm making new friends.

There ended up being about 55 people on the ride, 35 of us, about a dozen people who'd come along to help us, and some usual Saturday cyclists. The ride leader told us where she was taking us, which was around the lake clockwise, which would take us to our morning tea venue at Yarralumla Gallery. We'd collected money and booked ahead as hordes of riders descending on them without warning would be enough to send most baristas crazy.

It was an interesting experience. We didn't ride as fast as I expected, which is probably a good thing. I think that we were probably going at about 12 km/h for the first part and then 14 km/h for the second part. We were out there for about 2:15 hours, not counting morning tea. We were on the bike path almost the whole way and we rode in single file. When we came to hills or to something a little challenging like gravel, we pulled up, got given some advice, and then proceeded on our way.

I practised my gear changing, didn't run into anyone, made it up the big hills, didn't crash when the woman overtaking me up a steep hill fell off her bike and the one in front of me was unable to handle the hill and stopped at the same time. Instead I went around on the left and kept going, hoping that the helpers who were nearby would pick up the pieces. I felt a bit mean doing that, but I figured that it was probably better for me to stay out of the way than it was for me to add to the potential pileup.

We ended up covering a little over 30 km and I had a 2 km ride there and back, so it was a big day for me. I enjoyed myself and I'll do it again, but my backside is definitely voting for a gel seat cover! Someone said our ride to Yass in six weeks will be twice as long plus 10 km, so my seat bones need some padding under them.

Puncture update:
It took me a few days to fix the puncture in my front tyre. I meant to do it Wednesday night, but it was really late by the time I got to TNB's place (TNB = the new boyfriend, also known as the main reason I've been extra busy lately) so I skipped it. I arrived at TNB's place after squash on Thursday night, planning to fix the puncture before dinner.

He was really good and didn't give into the temptation of fixing it for me, but he did have the bike upside down ready for me. That really threw me at first, as we'd learned how to do them with the bike upright. I worked out how to disengage the brake upside down, popped the wheel out, took the tyre and tube off, found a hole and was about to patch it, when TNB put the tube in the sink. Yes, there were three holes. You may be very sure that I carefully examined the tyre for more thorns once I realised that there were several holes in my tube. I patched all three, put the bike back together and felt the back tyre, just to be sure of my good work on Tuesday. It was much softer than I would have expected. I realised that I probably hadn't found all the holes in that one the other night. Sigh.

Off came the back wheel. This is the hard one where your hands get dirty. TNB had dinner ready, but he patiently waited while I tried to find the new puncture. I wasn't having much luck so he encouraged me to put a lot more air in the tyre. It looked so odd, but we found the second puncture, and reopened the first one. I fixed these too. We ended up eating dinner about two hours after I arrived! Still, my tyres stayed up overnight and I was able to ride home in the cold for my PT session the following morning. I was wondering about the wisdom of fixing the tyre in time for a chilly Friday morning, but I really wanted my bike in one piece for my Saturday morning ride.

Pump stuff:
Sara, I love my pump. It's a Bontrager Turbo Charger, and has FIT on the foot piece. It's blue and silver, and the handle is curved slightly. The guy in the local bike shop told me it was specifically designed for women and I have to say it's easier to use than the ones they had at the bike course, which had straight handles. I think the curved handle makes allowances for my tummy. :-)

Andrew, yes it is one of those up and down pumps. I fell in love with those the first time I saw them. I actually brought it over to TNB's to fix the punctures, which I was very glad I'd done when I realised I had two tyres to pump up.

TNB stuff:
It's taken me a while to mention TNB on my blog. I've started doing regular cycling commutes and running commutes from his place to mine, so there'll be the occasional mention from time to time. Fortuitously, he lives 5 km from me along the bikepath, which is a really handy distance.

1 comment:

jojo said...

..nice... i had an inkling when i went to post a comment on someones blog(maybe kathryn's???) and you mentioned something..but i didnt like to be nosy parker... must be going well then... are you around for run for the kids... or meeting us at the pub after???