Rode with Hincapie

On the weekend club ride, we had a couple of “special” guests.

The other special guests were the Woodcock Race team that joined up with us at Lockport. The FOG fast group went off with them to Selkirk, and then from Selkirk to “The Big Bridge” Tim & Don pulled the train at 46-48km/h and most of us just hung on for the ride, it was a good time. Then, after the sprint to the top of the bridge, the Woodcock team went on a head as we stopped to re-group. The ride boss was pushing for some extra mileage and the group was willing, so it was off to Cooks Creek and then a stop at the beach in Birds Hill Park for water. With riding from home to the Legion and all the way back to the house it racked up 145 km for the day.

Good preparation for the Muddy Waters 100  (160km) coming up on August 12, 2012. This year the route is a little different with the start from Kildonan Park. The 1st loop is out to Lockport and back via Henderson and Highway 202, and then ti’s the standard FOG route, including Cooks Creek and 1 1/2 laps of Birds Hill Park to round out the 100 mile course.

Habitat for Humanity is sponsoring the ride and it’s a fund raising event. If you’d like to support them, and me, a tax-deductible donation can be made here, or by using the form in the sidebar.

If I reach or exceed my goal, I’ll get a cool cycling jersey to add to my collection as a small perk for me, so thanks for your generosity towards this worthy cause.

Actually, I didn’t ride with “The” George Hincapie, but it made for a catchy title.

With a little help from my friends

I thought I knew how to change a flat, and I do, but last Saturday I learned a lot more. I learned how to do it with the help of friends.

It was the first official FOG ride of the year and we were about 45 minutes in and just about to turn off Main St back onto River Road and the bike was feeling a little funny. Just after the turn it was for sure the dreaded flat on a group ride. Protocol has everyone stop and wait for the flat to get fixed, so there is a little pressure to get it done quickly.

Flying through the change the tube is out, wheel and tire checked quickly and new tube installed an re-inflated. Just as I’m putting the wheel back on the bike I notice it’s flat again!

Lesson #1: Be quick and careful.

One of my friends has a very close look at the tire by turning it inside out and flexing it back. This process discovers a small piece of glass which is pried out. Now we’re ready for another tube.

Lesson #2: Have lots of the right tubes.

I have a 2nd tube with a short stem and the new rear wheel with the Powertap has a deep rim. Friends to the rescue as I’m given a tube. A quick but careful tube and tire assembly followed by a CO2 inflation and we’re good to go.

Another 30-40 minutes go by and it happens again! Another flat! Frustrated I call for a pickup but the friends insist that they will help get me on the road again. A close look at the wheel shows that the rim tap has moved leaving 3 exposed spoke holes that most likely caused the tube to puncture. Another friend supplies the solution with self adhesive tube patches to cover over the spoke holes. Another friend supplies another tube and while inflating with a borrowed frame pump because i left mine at home, I hear the dreaded psssssss sound. The metal valve stem has snapped! Unbelievable!
I’m given another tube and this time all goes well and were back on the road.

Lesson #3: Know your equipment.

The rest of the ride was uneventful. I’m the only one who flatted, the only one to delay the ride, twice, both for an extraordinarily long time.

Lesson #4: Always ride with friends.

Thanks to everyone who helped me get through the ride, gave me tubes, patches, pumps and offered encouragement. Thanks to all who waited patiently.


The Ride Report

My Stats

Distance 94.72 km
Average speed 31.05 km/hr
Max Speed 50.8 km/hr
Ride Time 3:00:12

The day started off clear and sunny at 7am, but by the time I was picking up the Starbucks at 8:30 on the way to the ride it had clouded over with a nice flat layer of grey. Not particularly threatening but keeping the temperature down at 14°C. The normal 9am sharp start time was delayed by a few minutes as on of the guys repaired a flat. This turned out to be the only mechanical difficulty of the ride as approximately 25 rides headed out.

A couple of route changes from the standard ride took place. Due to a race on a section of River Road, we went up Henderson Hwy and cut over the bridge to Lockport and resumed the normal route, until we hit Birds Hill Park. Once in the Park one of the ride leaders proposed cutting over to Garvin Rd via a path and the road that goes between Elmhurst and Pine Ridge golf courses. There was much objection about going thru this path. Many felt that it would be too muddy and heaped much durision on the person proposing the route change. We did it anyway. These roadies are a little too pristine. The path was a perfectly good single track and any mountain bike rider would think nothing of it. Sure there was a little mud, but nothing of concern even to a road bike.

Overall, the ride was quite relaxed by FOG ride standards, and there was just one group for the entire ride. The typical speed was kept under 35km and the only hard haul was up 206 where of course all the boys had to hammer up the hill to the Park entrance, into the wind of course. I think it was this relaxed because the racers were busy elsewhere.

By this time the clouds were darker and signs of rain were all around us, but we escaped getting caught in any serious rain. However, on the way home, minutes after getting back to the starting point, there was a heavy downpour that temporarily flooded the streets. I appreciated not getting soaked out on the ride! As always, a good ride and with the more relaxed pace, I’m not feeling totally wasted!