Monday, February 11, 2013

Biking Walk of Shame

Much like a bear is a hunter, I am a runner.  Sure, you can train a grizzly bear to put on a little party hat and ride around on a tricycle, but eventually he is going to get a whiff of fish on a clown’s breath and go crazy.  As such, I can certainly try to learn how to ride a bike effectively, but deep down at my core I want to jump off the bike and bite a clown run.

Nevertheless, this weekend I got not one but TWO bike rides – an unfortunate side effect of an injured calf. (Doc appt this afternoon – fingers crossed!!)

The first ride was fairly uneventful, if not a bit slow.  I rode 22 miles at 16.7 mph, including stoplights. My butt was sore, but my legs could feel the effects of a good workout. The second ride, on the other hand, was a comedy of errors that rivals the best bear / clown mauling.

The ride started off quite well.  Like any good cyclist, I doped up on EPO and had a quick blood transfusion I made sure that I LOOKED the part.  If you can’t ride fast, you might as well look fast.

So much sexy, so little time

I say this about every time that I go for a bike ride after a few weeks off, biking takes a ton of ass fortitude STUFF.  I would estimate that it took a solid 20 min to collect all of the crap needed to actually go out for a ride.  Glasses, helmet, shoes, bike, extra EPO, water bottles, clown repellant, gloves, garmin, iPhone for self pictures, bike... UGH.  Eventually I did get it all together and hit the road.

The first 5 miles were actually really good – I averaged 18.8 mph which is right where I’d like to be for long rides.  But shortly after the 5 mile mark, I felt it – the bike seat firmly lodged into my colon a flat back tire.

No worry though, I had spare tubes, tools, and a CO2 container to be able to pump up the tire. I’ve done it many times before with zero issues.  Oh, not on Sunday though.  The first tube I must have pinched a hole in while putting it on because it didn’t hold any air when I wasted my first CO2 container on it.  The second tube was fine, but the CO2 thing screwed up and didn’t fill it – at all.  So, for those of you counting, two spare tubes and two air cartages later, and I am still as flat as an American Idol competition.

As you can imagine, I was not impressed

I even walked to a gas station that was about a half mile from where I was flat to see if there was some air that I could use (for free because I didn’t have any money).

Charging for air has to be like charging for tap water, right?

What followed was a 5 mile long bike-of-shame at a slow rate of speed as not to cause any more damage to my rim as possible.  I got home, but I was out of spare tubes so had to completely scrap the long bike ride for the week.  FAIL!  Of course, I did learn a few lessons:

  • Carry money. I could have bought “air” and filled up my tire
  • I need more practice changing flat tires. I suppose I’ll get this as I ride more
  • Need to work on my duckface in self pictures
  • Cursing at your bike doesn’t make the tires fill up any easier

Any tips on changing a flat tire on a bike?  What about fighting back the urge to bite creepy circus clowns?  



James Ford said...

In my 1st HIM attempt, I flatted 5 times on the rear tire alone. It was very frustrating to have the guys on mtn bikes coming passed me yelling "don't give up, you can do it!" My rim tape was off and kept puncturing my tubes. I got my 1st ever DNF because of it, so be happy it was a training ride and not a race!

Runners Fuel said...

I'm not sure how it is there. But, in CA, it's illegal to charge for air (even though they try to anyways). Hope your calf is ok.

Char said...

They charge for air?!!! I thought you lived in the land of the free. I must have misinterpreted that song.

Kate Geisen said...

$1 for air?! Craziness!

Maybe carry a small frame pump with you in case your co2 misfires? Also, I highly recommend biking with fast tire changers who'll do it for you. :)

FreeJulie said...

I bike and run, too, and you are so right about how much STUFF biking requires! Getting ready for a ride is like preparing for a mountain expedition. Plus, when you're on the ride, it's so many layers on, so many layers off. I can't remember how many times I switched between heavy gloves and light gloves on my last ride (but I live in Seattle so the weather is very temperamental).

Biking as a kid was so much funner. And I didn't wear stupid looking biking clothes, either. :)

Luis Fernando Oliveira said...

Few pointers:

1. CO2 canisters are expensive and unreliable. Use a small pump.

2. NEVER use a frame pump. It's bad form. Get a small one that you can carry on the back pocket of your jersey.

3. Get some patches to carry with you in addition to the extra tube. There are small packs that are really convenient;

4. Check the inside of your tire before introducing the new tube. Whatever caused the first flat might be there still;

5. If the roads around your place are dirty with debris (metals, glass, etc), buy one of those messenger tires. They are very, very tough.

Sue's Ramblings said...

First time hearing that "air" must be bought!

SeekingBostonMarathon said...

I am still learning the biking thing as a part-time triathlete in the summer. I suck at the bike and I'm even worse at changing a tire. I walked three miles with a flat tire bike last summer and even turned down help from a fellow cyclist. I didn't deserve the help. #notworthy

Luis Fernando Oliveira said...

Just to make sure

1. Pump:

2. Patch kit

3 Tire

HS Matt said...

what's wrong with a frame pump? beats walking.

You can also just ask for some air at any tire store, oil change place. etc.

Jeff Irvin said...

Alright, if you are going to become a roadie you need to know all "the Rules" ... Start here:

Now as soon as you read this comment, grab a small Philips screwdiver,grab a cold beer, go out in the garage, grab your bike, remove screws from the reflectors on the spokes of your wheels, toss reflectors in the trash, finish beer admiring your work and be amazed at how much more manly your badass roadie now looks.

Later, my work is done here...

racingthestates said...

Clown repellant IS very essential. Don't leave without it. Clowns are SCARY!

Luis Fernando Oliveira said...

Man o' man. You have reflectors on your wheels! REFLECTORS!!!

@HS Matt- sorry, man, frame pumps detract from the nice clean lines your bike (I'm assuming your bike has nice, clean lines, otherwise you should go and find yourself another bike). Same goes for saddle bags.

Liz Hall said...

I don't have many opportunities to ride my bike, because I am overseas. All of the things that happen to you are one reason I don't go on long rides. The main reason is the clown thing. :) You are so funny.

Layla said...

Looks like other people have commented about how California law says that gas stations must dispense air for free if asked.
I looked up Arizona, and apparently a bill to require free air and water was held up in a House committee and eventually died. BUT I found another site where the employee did turn the gas on for free when asked: Just don't use that clown repellant on the employee.

Matthew said...

An Air MAchine that accepts credit cards?!?!?! WTF!

Shinianen said...

I know I'm late to the party... but I bike commute and keep one of these bad dudes:

That way I can help out anyone on the trail, presta or not. And it's not super huge, so mounting it on my frame isn't a big deal.

It works pretty good. Doesn't build up 100% of the desired tire pressure, but it's good enough to get you home at least!