Thursday, July 22, 2010


Note to self: before a really long ride, put new tires on my bike and take extra tubes and a full patch kit. Also note: just because I haven't had a flat in 2,000 miles doesn't mean I won't have a flat on a really long ride.

I did the Ride Across Indiana (RAIN) last Saturday. I met up with Michael of Ear to the Breeze blog fame. His write-up on the ride is very nicely done. He captured the essence of the ride with his photos and description. My description will be a bit shorter.

It was a long ride. Really long.

Oh, it was hot. Really hot.

At the 48 mile mark I had a flat tire. No big deal. Changed the tube, headed down the road. At the 50 mile mark I had another flat tire. Huh, I didn't have any other tubes or a patch kit. Michael, with whom I had been having a very nice ride, offered to stay and wait while Alex drove back from her sister's in Indy. That was going to take a long time, so I had to urge Michael to go on. When Alex showed up, I was able to get another tube from the car, plus two extras, plus I had a spare tire in there as well I put on the bike.

I had another flat at the 80 mile mark. But that was the last mechanical problem for the rest of the ride. I don't think I have ever sweat so much in one day as I did on that ride. I supplemented the sag stops with stops at three gas stations along the way to get water and Gatorade. My nephew, Austin, who works in a bike shop in the UP gave me a bunch of Gu packets, which I consumed all across the state.

People were strewn along the entire distance, leaning against trees, buildings, laying on the ground - some in shade, some in the full sun. I stopped to give some of my Gatorade to one person, waited while another called her mother to come and get her. But there were so many people stricken by the heat and humidity, I felt bad passing them. I had to hope they were going to be OK and that they had someone to come and get them.

Happy riding!


Steve A said...

Was there a common factor to the flats or was it just bad luck?

jeff said...

That's a good day's ride! Congratulations on finishing. I can relate to the heat and humidity. Must have looked like a battleground with all the folks strewn along the way.

Big Oak said...

Steve - The first two flats were related to a fairly large crack in my tire - it was essentially worn through. The third was just luck.

Jeff - yea, those suffering souls caught me off guard.

Apertome said...

Nice writeup! I too noticed the people strewn about. It was very weird to see that. I hope no one had serious heat issues.

We'll have to ride again sometime ... and finish the whole ride together. I enjoyed riding with you again.

Congrats on finishing. It looks so funny to see the tiny keychain in your photo, but I really appreciated having a token that said FINISHER on it, as opposed to the jerseys and shirts and such which anyone could purchase, regardless of whether they finished the ride.

How did the Gu work out? I realized I haven't tried that brand. I usually use PowerBar Gels, when I need something like that.

Big Oak said...

Michael - I liked the Gu - it was Triberry flavored - funky consistency, but it tasted good and really helped. And - that token might be tiny, but I had to do a gob of work to earn it! I'm going to sign up for the Hilly Hundred, so I'll ride with you in your home country, if you do that ride.

Mike J said...

Great ride! 160 miles must have been a killer in the heat and humidity. I rarely have to deal with either of those.

Big Oak said...

Mike - you're lucky. Fortunately, though, high heat and humidity don't usually last around here for more than a week or so at a time.

Apertome said...

I am trying to decide about the Hilly Hundred. It is the same weekend as the Brown County Breakdown mountain bike ride, which I ride every year. However, the Breakdown is that Sunday, so I may ride the Hilly on Saturday and the Breakdown on Sunday. That is my current plan -- I haven't signed up for either one yet, though.

Let me know if you need a place to stay for the Hilly. We have an extra bedroom with a futon. It's not exactly luxurious, but it's available if you like.

rlove2bike said...

Big Oak...I have been internet challenged again for a spell, so it's catch up time for me. What an awesome ride you made. The most I have rode is 110 miles...roughly about 33% less than the ride you did, and that was tough. Hardcore...and now talk of the Hilly Hundred...Excellent job ! ! !