Thursday, May 14, 2009

The ride that wasn't meant to be

Lacking dirt options for the MTB I opted to hit the PRC Wednesday night right last night. Rain was a definite chance and I forgot my raincoat that morning. Ahh well, I won't melt, right?! So, there I've all ready got a strike against the ride. Sure enough, as soon as its time to roll off, the droplets start pelting down. Luckily its a pretty short lived sprinkle and hardly enough to call rain. It just managed to wet the streets and trails back down to the point of being slick.

Just onto the paved trail by Denman's I noted something felt wrong with the bike. Sure enough, I had a flat. First of the year on the road bike so I'm not feeling too bad about it, plus we're early enough in the ride that I can haul ass and catch the group before hammering the loops out by Maffit. I pull off and change the flat pretty quickly and discarded the sharp little 3 point rock that started the problem. I'm off to the races through the connector trail leading to Water Works and noting that its pretty greasy with the dirt having turned to slime on top of the wet asphalt. A couple oncoming riders signal me that there's a large group stopped not far ahead. I'm wondering why on earth they'd be stopped since I know they're not waiting for me.

It would seem (from my observation) that a rider went off the edge of the paved trail and hit the mud. From there he dug it in pretty good looking at the mud caked on top of his helmet and covering half his handlebar. A few people were tending to him and it appeared he'd separated his shoulder or possibly fractured a collarbone. Just as I arrived, the call went up for something to use as a sling. As luck would have it, I happened to have a freshly pulled tube with a hole in it! At least I'm good for something. They wrapped him up and the group was off again.

Now we're all of 4 miles into the ride and I've been rained on, had a flat, and gave minor assistance to a fallen rider. Pretty eventful if you ask me. Halfway through Waterworks I hear something fall to the ground and skid across the pavement. Sure enough, after digging out the tube and being a good samaratin, I've left my bag open and spilled my inflater and remaining tube onto the ground. I stop, pick them up and sprint back to the group. We head on out to the course and just after we turn off Park Avenue, I've got the 2 tail end Charlies and I note my rear tire is feeling a bit "squishy" as I round a corner. Really?! No shit, another flat with less than 6 miles on the clock. I pull off and as luck would have it, I still have a spare tube considering I'd packed 2 in that bag for my weekend adventure on the CIRREM course.

I change the second flat and now I'm down to a single CO2 and patches so I say screw this and head for the truck. As I'm getting back to the Waterworks bridge I see another commuter needing some assistance with a flat. I offer up my last CO2 to help her out. Unfortunately, she has no spare tubes, and the current tube has 4+ patches on it all ready. We can't find the new leak so my CO2 is of no use and I leave her with having called for a ride home. Back at the shop the ordeal is over with all of 12 miles in. Not much in the way of a training ride considering I was hoping to get a good effort in and then do some pacing today in prep for this weekend's race. Definitely not a ride that was meant to be for me. I just hope I've gotten my hi jinks out of the way.

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