Flats Abound and Triathletes’ Macguver pt.2

Some of you have already heard the gist of this story, but my personal account is much more…well humorous…than what you’ve heard. It’s full of every emotion, a few choice words, and a lot of learning. I’m sure you’ll learn a few things too.

Coming off Rev3 Quassy, not the A race it was supposed to be, the majority of last week was a taper. Things started to change after Wednesday when I told me coach how good I felt, and the huge strides I was making in training. So with things ramping up, I was getting pretty excited for Saturday. Coach Tony had set up a group open water swim, and then group ride in C-ville after. We, about 9 of us, hit Lake Allatoona with a big group of people already there for an open water swim. Not the plan, but we didn’t want to step on any toes, so we just went along with them. I really didn’t care because I was in one of my new Spish Inc suits, and I was happy to be as passively obnoxious as possible.(A friend said that the better OW swimmers choose bright suits. I think it’s just personality, but I could be wrong. I’m not crazy fast, but I don’t call myself slow anymore either)(The lower one. Sorry no action shots in the suit; use your imagination). No wetsuit either since summer is here and the water temp was well above 80*. a short warm up, and about 30 minutes of solid swimming later, the group packed into their rides and caravanned to the Budweiser plant.

(Obviously I took this one; you’ll get to see my awesome Trakkers cycling jersey in a few)
I had my zones I was to hit during my bike session of my brick, and was told to train my session. That meant I got to go, and even at zone3, that’s still some speed. I was to spend most of the 2:35 in zone3 with some short rest intervals, so I set off with the group on the 48 mile loop. And wow; I felt amazing. Steady effort, constant heart rate(ok; it climbed when I hit hills), I pulled away from the group, and honestly the though of any kind of malady never crossed my mind… PPPSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTTTTTTTtttttt……

Did you guess that’s the sound of me getting a flat on my “new” wheel? Did you guess it was at almost the exact half way (read FURTHEST AWAY) point on the loop? Did you also guess that since I had just found out I had 650 wheels 36 hours prior, an there for had no spare tubes? ….grrrrrrrr

So I’m a few minutes ahead of everyone who was riding the same loop. And as I pull off the road, the only thought in my head is…”really?!” Along with flash backs of B2B. So B. Ryals rides up, and pulls over, and she can tell I have a flat from my stance as I just stare at my bike with some hope that it’s going to magically fix itself. Bethany has a tube, and the tools and CO2 cartridges I need, with one issue… I RIDE 650c WHEELS!!! For those of you non-cyclist out there, that means I have wheels smaller than the normal(700c)size, and therefore the 700tube won’t fit. A patch kit may have worked, but B didn’t have one of those. Luckily Tony rolled up a few minutes after, and I knew he had a repair kit under his saddle. YAY!!! oh wait…Tony rides 700s too. Patch kit?! No…used earlier in the week. Damn it… But here’s where our MacGyver-ness comes into play.

Did you know you use half a gel wrapper, or a dollar bill as a patch in a pinch? You obviously have to REALLY get it right, and have to just coast, but that’s better than just sitting on the side of the road. Sadly; Tony had used his luck up earlier with the gel wrapper patch idea earlier in the week, so it obviously wasn’t going to work twice in one week. Dollar(20$) bill didn’t work either. And to make things worse, it literally toon 20minutes to get one side of the tire off, at least the same to get it back on. We even tried tying a 700 tube to fit in the tire just so i could get back… Well 2hours and 3 tries and CO2 cartridges later, we’re calling anyone we can to try and get a hold of the other people in C-ville to pick me up. Tony and Bethany stayed with me the whole 2 and a half hours until Chuck came and picked me up in his loaner Smart car(actually kinda roomy inside). Thus proving that triathletes are a tight knit group, especially those in Endurance Concepts. I would have gotten REALLY bored alone; just look at this face . Kept smiling though, so it’s not all bad. Tony and B. Ryals rode back, and I got in my quick T-run. With perfect timing, I finished my run as they got back, and we all headed out for a post session Tex-Mex meal.

After lunch/dinner, I headed up the street to get a new 650 tube and tire… 30minutes of everyone in the shop searching for my obscure tube, and 90$+ later (WTH?! Why is a bike tire the same as a car tire?!) I headed home to lay down. After getting my energy up a little, I tried to change the tire. Here’s where my mood starts to drop…

45minutes to get the new tire and tube changed, only to have the tube punctured. Even tried to patch it, just so I could redo my brick on the trainer the next day, and that just got more holes. Angry… Very very angry. If you saw any of my tweets, you already knew.

I swallowed my pride(a good lesson) and just took my tire to the bike shop for them to change it, and buy as many 650 tubes as I can find. Even the bike tech there took almost 40 minutes doing it. This wheel (borrowed from a friend while my aero wheel gets retro fitted with a PowerTap), is very angry it was given up, and is revolting on me.

All things happen for a reason, I’m not sure why exactly, but it did. And Sunday’s redo was freakin beautiful. It also thought me first hand how close training and racing are to mood and personal description. I went from being on the edge of snapping on some poor defenseless soul, to cloud9 after my brick. Think sports psych; I’ll explain later.

Ready for the irony? Not 5miles down from where I flatted was a guy who’s a bike mechanic and runs a “bike emergency” service from his house to help those out in C-ville. I’m going to save his number. More irony? I was told today (through heresy) you don’t TIE the 700, you fold it opposite the air valve… Duh… Even more irony? Having 650s means I can get full disc wheels for crazy cheap on eBay… As in carbon ZIPP 404 SET for 850$… Or a full disc of less than 6$…and I already sent off my wheel; remember? Little late now huh…

Oh well; we have to laugh at these kinda things.

3 thoughts on “Flats Abound and Triathletes’ Macguver pt.2

  1. I had some “issues” this weekend also. 2 flats and a broken chain 2.7 miles into a 60 mile ride. After being pissed my ride wasn’t going to happen that day, I chalked it up to practice changing my tires and a chance to really clean my bike up. Found a shop that was open on Sunday, and had them put on a new chain and then proceeded to get a 40 miler. I guess when you are given lemons, you should just make lemonade. Good luck on the rest of your season.

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