It’s 8:30pm, it’s still about 98+ degrees (even though the sun is down) and I’m sitting on the back porch at Rudy’s with rob, clad in full spandex-riding gear, shot gunning a Lonestar, after having walked three miles up from the bottom of the greenbelt. But let me back up…
I’m a firm believer that everything should have general operating parameters. Don’t not use this toaster in the bathtub. This tuna best eaten before 2062. This bike is best ridden in non-fatal temperatures.
On that last one, I think perhaps we maybe exceeded our advisable temperatures range today. In hindsight the bike probably was fine, (the tires were not), but the rider (me) was functioning a little below optimal efficiency. Now I’m a big believer in getting out when it’s hot, and I’ll take this any day over the nefarious winter version of this extreme. If you can ride your bike in Texas in the summertime, you can ride pretty much anywhere. But at 5:30 we were pushing 104 with a Heat index of 107, so things were going from epic to stupid pretty fast.
The idea was, lets put down some miles on the road getting out to the trail, do a figure-eight loop with a few gut-buster climbs, roll back in to downtown the road, drink a beer at Royal Blue. It was solid, it was great, it was fucking retarded. The problem comes from me being cheap. Sometimes this works in my favor, sometimes it ends in me shotgguning lonestar’s at Rudy’s. Six months ago, I bought some very lightweight tires to race on and liked them so much, I’ve kept them into the summer (since my racing season was one race), and well past the useable life of the side-walls. Whether it was the heat, my ever-exapnding girth, or just my Karma coming back to bite me for being a cheapskate, At mile 3 everything started going wrong.
Keep in mind, I’m an Eagles Scout so I leave the house on a bike ride pretty well prepared. There’s redundancies in place to keep things from going to hell. Well, first the sidewall split and the sealant, which had pretty much cooked off in the heat, didn’t really cut the mustard. Then the tube i had was a narrower diameter than recommended for the tire. Then the whole thing exploding a second time, just as we finished our second descent to the creek bottom. So, at this point, as the british would say, we are good and fucked.
I guess we could look at the positives of this experience. I didn’t throw my bike into the woods like I tempted too (I did throw a few rocks). The bums that populate that area of the Greenbelt learned some new choice, f-bomb-laced phrases. Germ got to run an evac to get the car at time trail-speeds and find a new exit out tho the road that, in his words, smelled like death and dead things. And Rob and I got a scenic walk back through the gated community next to the bum camp (from which we almost did not escape), down 360 which was pleasantly radiating the days heat back into space and our faces, while Semi’s barreled past at mach5.
Not a good day, but we leaned some things – like don’t be cheap when it comes to something like a tire. Many public thanks to Germ and Rob for tolerating the chaos that I caused, and the facilitating the evac. New, thick bastard tire with a gallon of sealant, is going on today.