14 July 2007

First Flat

Thursday, another one of those rides that had Dorff lead us to parts known. Although I did this same route two weeks ago. Here is a map of the area we take. We start of in El Segundo, head south to Palos Verdes. Usually, we turn around at the mouth of PV, giving us about 23 miles for the day. That is the "Thursday Ride".

This time we went around PV. It is mapped out on my GPS (Ghetto PhotoShop). You can see this is a big loop. At the end the route give you about 45 miles, that is almost half a century. Dorff, Chris, and Nathan wanted to stop at a 7-11, about a mile out of the way for carrot cake. I stuck to my Sport Beans.

The last time I did the route, I only had one gel pack and one bottle of water. This time I wisely has two bottles and multi GU and Sport Bean packs. Tip: Always carry more food and water than you think you need.

We climbed up the 'switchbacks' and proceed to zip down the crazy turns in PV. I was more familiar with the turns so I was going faster this time. Then, it happened. I got a flat in the front, at the worst possible place. Coming down at about 30 mph and taking this sharp turn was hard enough. The speed limit was 20. Luckily, there were no cars behind me and I took the main road instead of the tiny bike lane.

I was losing grip on the the turn, I did not realize I had a flat. At first, I though there was some gravel on the road, no big deal. Then, as I leaned in to the turn (again going about 25-30) I felt my front tire drifting. I am sure it must have looked really cool in slow motion as I drifted, almost wiped out and corrected myself. Still not knowing there was a flat, I noticed that the guard rail was coming towards me at an incredible speed and the big blue truck coming up the other side of the street did not help the situation either.

I tapped the brakes, by then I figured that I had a flat, and eased into a stop. The whole ting happened in about 5 seconds. By this time the rest of the group was way ahead of me. I got off the bike, made a call to Dorff and started work on the bike. Luckily, the group turned back and helped my change the tube and we were on the road again. The experience was fun, exciting and scary as $#!+. I got lucky and did not get a 30 mph road rash or became one with the guard rail.

Until next week...

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