Sunday, April 27, 2014

Day 444 - Riding In The Shadows, Plus- How To Change A Flat!

April 26, 2014

Hello all. I had my long ride today. Four hours and forty five minutes of strict Z2. Then a fifteen minute, find your legs run.

 By the time I got all my ride fuel portables finished and wrapped then got to Encanto Park, it was almost four pm! I had a beet juice about an hour before riding and a Kind Bar right before I headed out.

The Renaissance Fair was happening in the Santa Fe Dam basin.

 There was a lot of wind from the moment I got on the trail. And I was riding into it.

 The weather was nice but windy. Boy it was a strong headwind. I didn't see too many riders out there either.  I was working pretty hard just to get to Zone 2 with my heart rate.

 I kept having to stand to get my heart rate up to maintain the strict focus of the workout. I'm not sure how well I did though. Despite that it was very scenic with recent rain filling some of the tributaries along the trail. I normally see some interesting things each ride, for instance last time I rode the trail, I saw a guy in a winter beany pooping into a five gallon bucket! I saw this because he decided to set up his bucket in the middle of an open field! He also waved with the hand holding a roll of toilet paper as I passed.  

 When I started the ride, I turned north on the trail after crossing the bridge from Encanto Park. I like to ride towards the mountains at the beginning in order to warm up. Plus, the trail head is only a few miles north. When I got back from the ride to the bridge, I still had twenty five minutes to go to make my four hours and forty five minutes. So I kept heading north. By then, it was full dark and except for a few mining equipment post, there was almost no light. As I got near the top of the trail, POP! I hit a rock or something just perfectly to pinch the side of the tire and my first flat. My phone had died thirty minutes before. I saw that a few hundred yards away was a street light at the entrance to the weird mountain community that lives up there. So I walked to it and proceeded to fix the front tire. Thank goodness I had a spare tube, a repair kit and I had spent time watching a YouTube video on how to fix a flat since I knew it would happen one day. For anyone who may not know, I'll post a link to the video at the end. But here are the steps I followed.

1. I used the two tire levers in my kit to pry one side only of the wheel out of the rim all the way around.
2. I removed the inner tube.
3. I carefully felt the inside of the tire all the way around looking for anything still penetrating it like glass or a nail. Even though I knew it was a "pinch flat."
4. I loosened the valve on the replacement inner tube and partially blew it up with my mouth. I then carefully placed the valve into the rim hole and fed it under the tire edge. I carefully made sure the inner tube was sitting in the middle of the rim.
5. Then I carefully put the tire edge back into the rim making sure that the inner tube didn't get caught between the tire and rim.
6. I took out the Micro-Flate tire inflator and threaded in one of the CO2 canisters loosely. I placed the inflator on the valve and pressed firmly. I then turned the CO2 all the way in. I kept thinking about Chrissy Wellington almost losing her Ironman because she twisted he canister the wrong way. So I kept pressing down and twisting the canister. Finally, I looked at the valve and noticed that the locking valve was bent! Note: Don't completely open the valve so it is loose before placing the CO2. I checked the inflator still trying to figure out why it wasn't working when I gave it a small twist and gas shot out. I thought, "Damn, now I bent the valve on my only spare and it probably wont hold air and I just did a Chrissy Wellington anyways!" I put the inflator back on and twisted the right way. Shhhhwwwwooop! The tire inflated perfectly. Now, would it hold air with the bent valve?

I carefully put the tire back on and gingerly put my considerable weight on the bike. So far, so good. I coasted back down the pitch black trail trying to see any rocks in the blinking headlight. The was a moment as I soared along the path in the darkness, with only the sound of the chilling wind in my ears where I felt very peaceful and connected. To what, I'm not sure, but the feeling was there.

I made it back to the care, pretty amazed that the valve held, packed up the bike and put on my running shoes for the fifteen minute run. Right before the flat, I had been thinking that if my legs felt this tired after only doing four hours and forty-five minutes, how in the world am I going to run a marathon? The funny thing is, I felt pretty good during my little fifteen minute jaunt. I even clocked a mile much faster than I normally run. Now I know that one mile is not a marathon but it made me feel better about my chances of finishing my race. I made it back to the car chilled but feeling good.

Well, that is the end of my adventure. Until tomorrow my friends.

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