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.