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Beating the Monday Morning Blues

by on October 3, 2011

This Ride: 22.2 miles
Month: 22.2 miles
2011: 5,941.9 miles
Total since 1/1/2010: 12061.6 miles

Today’s ride started yesterday.

I went to the garage yesterday afternoon to adjust the chain on the fixie.  The big ring is not “centered” and one part of the rotation makes the chain too tight and the plan was to ease it off just a bit.  As I’m preparing to do that, I discover that the front tire is flat.  That’s a puzzle to me, because I rode 60 miles on it Friday with no problems.  I fixed the chain, then as the first order of checking the tire I tried to inflate it.  As soon as the pump put air in the tire, it escaped just as fast.  I wondered if a valve had gone bad.  I tried again.  Same result.  I pulled the wheel, got my tube changing baggie, pulled the tube and quickly found a hole about 4 inches from the stem.  It was the size of a pencil lead.  Again, I remembered that I rode this bike Friday with no loss of air, and it had been sitting in the garage all nice and warm and dry since then.

The location of the hole was where the tube contacts the rim, so I looked for the cause of the hole in the rim, and for the first time really looked at the rim.  This bike has a rubber “rim tape” that is ridiculously thin and was sitting on the rim in a way that reminded me of a cow path, meandering without rhyme or reason across the rim.  By now it was after hours at the bike shop, so I determined to go to the shop on Monday to buy some real rim tape and fix this wheel correctly.  That means that the fixie was down for Monday’s ride.

At 5:25 this morning, as I left the house, the temperature was 43° F, the coldest it has been since April.  There were some light showers in the area, according to radar, but it was dry when I left the house.  I decided to try a couple of new items this morning, including my long sleeve SPP jersey (which I may have ridden in before … I just can’t remember) and my new Lake Winter Riding Shoes.  I wore the shoes with a pair of wool socks, but no other toe or shoe covers.  When I arrived at the Rusty Bridge and the time to start was arriving, I didn’t see any other riders and was just beginning to consider riding alone.  Soon, a few riders started to arrive, all just a few minutes later than usual.  It takes a little longer getting ready in the morning when there are more clothes to put on.  Clint was wearing his long sleeve SPP jersey and his new Lake Winter Riding Shoes also.  The six of us maintained a very easy pace, and it felt a little like speed dating.  We would ride 2X2 for a while, then there would be an adjustment and we would all be riding with new partners, engaging in new conversations.  Chip joined us later in the ride on his fixie.  He took delivery of a new bike on Friday but said that unless there was a negative percent chance of rain he wasn’t riding it.  It was about then that the light sprinkles started.  It wasn’t enough to get us wet, but just enough to let us know it was there.

I did push it up the sprint hill I’ve set up on Strava.com for my interval training, and set a new personal best time and average speed on that segment (24.5 mph).

The Lake shoes performed well.  My toes were kept warm (although just on the cool side of warm) the entire ride.  My other road shoes would have performed in a comparable way at 60°.  They were comfortable, except that both Clint and I noticed that the heel box was just a little loose.  That’s easy enough to fix.

Clint saw my email about the fixie and brought me some rim tape he said he wasn’t probably going to use, so there is no need to go to the bike shop today.

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