Monday, April 14, 2008

NJ spring in Va.

Now this is what I'm talking about, a real spring time. One that actually leads the cold of winter into the warmth of summer. Having grown up in NJ, the weather that we are experiencing here in Va this year is much welcome change for me. I can't stand the On/Off of Va weather, were it's 30* today and 90* tomorrow with the humidity going through the roof!

There is also nothing like everything turning more and more green each day. The bareness of winter is something that I've always found depressing. While I am enjoying the green of the leaves, needless to say roads, sidewalks, and cars that are turning green from all the pollen is a little less than desirable.

But worst than pollen is the ever so much fun Poison Ivy! Lisa and I have both suffered for the past few years from Feb -> Dec. In fact, I've already had bout #1 just this past Feb. with poison and I'm sure it won't be the last time. Unlike some things in life, your body actually becomes more susceptible to poison ivy the more you get it.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Today I was the fortunate recipient of 3 separate flats within less than a 5 mile span. Every group ride has at least one of those "that guy" people and today I was him.
The first flat came soon after bombing a hill that was recently turned into a long rock garden. We folks on my wheel I decided go full bore and just before hitting the end of the garden the guy behind me yells out he flatted.

We made it down the trail about a 100' or so and pulled to the side so he could change it out. While doing so I sitting there just leaning on my bike and out of the blue we hear of loud hissing. I'm thinking, "dude that sucks" as Kenny was just installing the wheel back on his bike, but as luck would have it the sound was coming from my rear wheel!

Completely flat in seconds, the group of us were all perplexed by the sudden flat. Hey no problem I think, I just flipped the bike over, removed one side of the tire bead, pulled out the tube and located the hole. I tried to add a patch but when i tried to inflate the tube a tad but the air was rushing out too fast. I finally work it out and get the patch installed only to realize that I had a second snake bite. We get it fixed and 5 minutes later we are on our way again.

Well, for about 500', then flat again. This time I'm going for a new tube, I can feel the pressure building as our group of 10 is getting a little antsy. Hey no problem, I try to get them to continue and I'd catch up, but they were having no part of it. After checking the rim & tire and finding nothing, I install the tube and now the rim, only to be reminded that I'm running an ENO rear hub. What's that mean? Well the hub uses an eccentric axle to apply tension to the chain on my singlespeed conversion. The problem is that I forgot about this special hub and the wrench that it needs to be adjusted.

"Oh well I though", No this after 2 flats and with so much slack in the chain I decided to cut my losses and head home. I tell everyone to go ahead and as soon as they do I came up with a plan to get the bike operational again. While I'm working on it a few people pass by, all offering help. So thanks if you were one of those folks.

Tire inflated, wheel installed, now it's time to play catch up! They only have about 10min on me, so I was pressing to catch them. About 4 miles later into the ride, apparently only about 1 ml behind them I flat yet again!!

Now pissed, I resign myself to simply walking it home. Then after about a quarter mile I simply think FuckIt! I decide to ride the bike as is for the remaining 3 miles home and to do this I'll jump off the trail ASAP and take the road home.

Can this damage my rim? Sure, but by now I simply can care less. I was home in 20 min. and to my surprise the rim and even the tire we no worst for wear.