A Flat and a return to low-tech solutions!

Of course I should have known better than to head out late in the afternoon on a chilly (OK, almost cold!) fall day. I really wanted to get a ride in though and I knew the route Dave and I usually ride (the Lon Hagler Rez ride) takes me just over an hour if I stay focused. That wasn’t a problem — I wanted to ride and I knew if I had to, I could ride hard to get back before it got too dark to be safe on the streets.

What I forgot to factor in was the flat tire that I got just after I passed the turn-around point and was heading back towards the farm. What made it worse is that when I got out my new, handy-dandy, compressed gas contraption, the cylinder was already punctured so there was no compressed gas to be had. And, with no backup hand pump….there I was, about 8 miles from home, with Look-cleated shoes (which we all know are good for walking about 20 paces to the porta-potty on a fully supported event and that’s about it!) and the sun quickly dropping behind the foothills. I was thankful that my cell phone had 1) a charged battery and 2) coverage in this remote area of the front range so that I could call for a rescue! Beth must’ve been outside with the horses because no one answered my call for help. After a few attempts to reach her, I went  to my Plan B which is to call my ever-reliable Dad. He and my mom only live a few miles from the farm and he was happy to come rescue Scooter and me. In the 20 minutes between my flat and my rescue it had gotten quite a bit colder and dusk was quickly approaching.  Lesson learned. On my training rides, I think I’ll put my hand pump back in my jersey pocket until I can get this new-fangled compressed air solution figured out!

The inability to walk far (or comfortably) also solidified my decision to wear recessed SPD cleats when I do the cross country tour. Not sure how far in advance I need to make the switch. Actually, I’ve always worn recessed SPD cleats on my tours so making the transition back to them should be painless. I will miss the light, efficient “racing” shoes I’ve been wearing, but I’d rather be able to walk than race as I go across the country.

I should note that the ride itself was GREAT – fast paced and with rhythm. While I was riding, I didn’t feel cold — I only got chilled while waiting for my Dad to arrive. If I hadn’t gotten the flat, I’m sure I would have made it home with time to spare.