Monday, July 17, 2017

Jul-12: Epic Does Not Mean Long Nor Hard

This early Wednesday morning epic started on Tuesday afternoon,
When I washed and inspected the bike.
The rear tyre had had a flat profile for quite some time.
After all, that tyre had 5310-miles on it, all on the rear.
Carefully rolling the tyre around revealed three or four small places
Where the "rubber" had been worn down and casing was just beginning to show.

I thought about using one of second-hand tyres I had on hand, but
I [usually] use those as spare tyres.
Besides, I rather like the 25-cc tyres and all the second-hand ones were 23's. 
[I sometimes get second-hand tyres that clearly have 
A couple thousand miles or more of use still available. 
An advantage of having taught my bike wrench all the roads to ride, 
When he moved here from Dallas a decade or so ago. 
Also, in his early days here, I touted Gary's services and that brought him many customers / clients. 
My references aren't needed so much these days, as his business has grown mightily.]

So, late in the day, I acquired a brand new 25-cc Vittoria Zaffiro Pro.
[You certainly realize that I looked to get that name, 
Because I certainly don't know it off the top of my head, or should that be, end of my fingers.]
However, I was too lazy to replace the old one before going to bed.
Not to worry, the ride isn't starting until 0630, instead of the usual 0600 for this time of year,
And I'd easily be able to swap out the tyres in the morning.

I arrived, via vehicle, at the start at 0612.
Twelve minutes later than I should have.
Iva was already there putting himself and bike together, having driven the 5-kms from his home.
I commented, "Iva, I'm later than I wanted to be, and you are earlier than I expected."

I'm not great at changing tyres, but I'm not BAD, either.
Old tyre came off easily; new one went on easily.
Paperwork exchanged. 
We were ready to roll with a couple minutes to spare.
I was feeling rather smug about the relative efficiency of the tyre swap. 

Out of the parking lot and eastbound on Norwood Rd,
And within 50 or 100 yards,
"Iva, let's return to the cars.  Something is not right.  There's a bump-bump-bump from the rear."
U-turn, half-way back to the parking lot entrance,
Rear tyre blow out.

Back at the car (where my floor pump was  conveniently located),
Checking the tyre, I saw that it had blown off the rim in one particular location.
"Hmmn," thought I, "I must have not made sure the tyre was properly seated."

So, new tube, rather quick change again,
Making absolutely sure of proper seating.

Back on the road, just a little bump.
Thinking that maybe that was just me imagining things.

However, by the turn onto Mt. Vernon Church Rd, 0.7-miles into the course,
The bump-bump was again worrying.
"Iva, lets pull in at PUE so I can check this tyre again."
Rear tyre blow out. 

I walked one or two hundred yards to the PUE parking lot.
Same blowout at the same location.

I mentioned to Iva that I now wondered if there was something wrong with the new tyre.
Borrowing a tube from Iva,and still finding nothing otherwise wrong,
I swapped the tubes, telling Iva I was going to partially inflate,
And see what happened.

Inflated to about half the desired tyre pressure, using the short pump I carry on the bike,
The tyre was clearly bulging at what was now clearly a weak point in the tyre's "wire".
At least we knew it wasn't me.

Tube deflated, new, but crappy, tyre removed, spare tyre installed.
On the road again at approx 0740.
In other words, 2-kms progress made in 1h10.

Iva wondered if we should abandon the planned Bahama Beach (reversed), and
Just do a short trip around Falls Lake instead.
"Nah; we have plenty of time.
"We'll finish a little after 1pm instead of around noon.
"It will likely be a record slow passage, but each of us has time, and it will be enjoyable."

And the ride was settling in enjoyably.
I had restarted my confuser at the second start,
And we reached NC-98 only 22 or 23 minutes-in-motion (compared to the usual 19 or).

Across Falls Lake and riding nicely northbound on New Light Rd.
Approaching Old Weaver Trail, Iva mentioned that my rear derailleur was not straight.
We pulled in at Northshore Drive on the righthand side of the road.
Forgetting something important, I tried to nudge / bend the derailleur back to being straight.
The hanger threads had slowly been stripped over the past 10+ years.
I immediately recalled what I had forgotten. 

Iva was flabbergasted.
I was annoyed with myself.
I had let the hanger situation deteriorate to the point of failure without a backup plan.

Okay, over that annoyance in a few seconds.
I don't recall who suggested it, but we agreed the correct action to take now
Was for Iva to ride back to his car, and then come collect me.

I looked at my watch:  0810.
I told Iva that it was usually a long half-hour from where we were to the CVS, but
It might take a bit longer if NC-98 was crowded with morning rush hour traffic.
Adding time for Iva to put his bike up and the return drive,
I told Iva I would see him in about an hour.

I texted several people while waiting for Iva's return.
Easy for those with "smart-phones," not quite as easy on a flip-phone.
Cancelling the coming Sunday Triple-L,
And some other stuff, too.

[I included Lynn on the text to Byron regarding the L-L-L cancellation. 
Her return text? 
"I'd be jumping for joy if I didn't have to do LLL on Sun.  Hooray!
I'll let locals and non-locals draw their own conclusions from Lynn's response.]

I was safe from New Light traffic, but
Stood close enough that the repeated winds from passing traffic kept the mosquitoes away.

I also noticed that about one-quarter of the drivers were holding their phones to their ears,
Or looking at their phone instead of at the road.
[Personally, I think all phones ought to automatically shut off when moving faster than 5-mph.] 

Iva returned to my location after about 65 minutes.
We loaded my bike into his vehicle and returned to the start.

DNF on the Bahama Beach (total ride:  7.9-miles, ~40-min in-motion incl. walking time).
Only second and third riders to DNF in the five-plus years of the route's existence.

1 comment:

  1. That was EPIC.... I have another tyre that is neither bulging nor new if you are interested. Probably has a few thousand miles left.