May 13, 2017
“For over 25 years, the Almaden Super Lions Club has sponsored the I CARE Classic Bike Tour to raise funds to provide eye exams and glasses for children and veterans in need. 100% of the proceeds of this event are dedicated to that cause.
Ride through the spectacular spring scenery of Morgan Hill on well mapped, marked courses with great rest stops and SAG support along the way.” – from the icareclassic.org website
This ride was on a Saturday so Friday I drove to the bay area. I met my eldest for lunch which was great. We really had a good time together. Then I went over to meet several of my cycling friends from way back – sooo good to see them! Finally, I made it to Cindy’s house where she had dinner ready for me and a couple other cycling buddies. Fun to reminisce. A wonderful Friday!!
Saturday I was up early and off to the ride. With only a ½ hour drive, I expected to be on the road early to get a good start on the 100 mile route. Well…I was on the road early but forgot my water bottles at the car. Back I went to retrieve them and re-start the ride. About six extra miles and ½ hour of time used. I was feeling good, back on track, country road, light traffic but why is my bike feeling squirrely? Oh no – a flat!
New bike, first flat – how do I deal with this?!? I am starting to panic. OK, calm yourself. Step one is get the wheel off the bike. Crap! Which way do I turn the axle to get it out? Left-no movement. Right-no movement. Wish I had my old quick release system. Hailed a rider who came over and was able to get the axle to turn. I’m sure I loosened it for him…yeah, right. Many thanks and I sent him on his way.
OK, next step, check tire – yup, found a rock and removed it. Remove tire and check it again in case the rock wasn’t the problem. Found: nothing. Next check the tube. Cannot find a hole. Did I just not fill it with enough air? OK, put same tube back on rim, put tire back on, use new pump and prepare CO2 cartridge for use. Got the pump up to the four bar but need six. Another rider hailed. He helped fill the tire to the six bar (didn’t use the CO2 at all). Sent him on his way with many thanks.
Started down the road, tire’s getting soft. Dufus! This time changing the tire was not so daunting. A SAG vehicle came down the road so I hailed the driver. I was able to change the tire all by myself this time and just needed the floor pump from the SAG vehicle. Of course, I used the spare tube just like I should have the first time. Bonus: I now remember I am to put the chain into the smallest cog before removing the back tire. All this probably put me back another ½ hour – at least. But now I’m on my way, for sure this time.
As I’m working on the tire, I hear, “Is that Nikki?” It was my buddy, Tony F. Nice to see him. He was doing the metric century so continued on his way and I continued to fix the flat. Ended up seeing him and his sister a bit later on the ride. Serendipity!
see Part II for end of the tale…