Monday, August 31, 2009

Bonking and Flatting

I nearly bonked on Saturday, when I simply forgot to eat. I left at 5:20 a.m. after eating two bananas and bringing a full flask of gel. Gel was all gone by 9:30. I stopped and visited a friend in Walnut Creek from 10:30 to 11:45. After riding for 10 minutes after I left his house, I realized how little I'd eaten and felt the familiar queasy emptiness. I decided to stop in Moraga to refuel. So, in 90+ degree weather, I rode on fumes to Moraga, where I stopped at a gas station for a Coke and a Snickers bar. Snickers packs 280 calories and a can of coke has 140, so that was a very quick 420-calory energy infusion. Very helpful. Made it home feeling OK, but shaking my head over the novice mistake I'd made.

A couple of hours before bonking, I flatted. I hit something -- not sure if it was a sharp rock or a small pothole. This was my fourth flat in a month! I get about four flats a year, so the recent rash of tube and tire failures is puzzling. And all of them have been different: from creeping rim tape to a snakebite, glass shards, on differents sets of wheels and tires, you name it. And just one day after my latest flat, as I rode, I ran my hand over the tire to brush off gravel and felt a strange bump. Stopped, examined the tire and found two tube hernias protruding through the tire. Very exciting (not), this would be my first tire-booting experience. I quickly settled on using a piece of a plastic bag as a boot. Stuffed the plastic between the tube and the tire as best I could. Pumped cautiosly, checking the tire to make sure the tube wasn't poking out, but the boot held. On the way home, I stopped to check it before descending the 10% Joaquin Miller Road, but all was well, and I made it home safely. Time to change the tire, I think.

After five roadside tire repairs in the last four weeks I am eagerly looking forward to uneventful and flat-free riding. Please!


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