...Also known as the tire playing dirty tricks, just when the bike and I were starting to become friends.
Last Saturday our practice was titled "Griffith Park Grand Prix." We had received an email saying bike/run/?, and told to be prepared to change flat tires. I am not great at this, so while I knew it would be annoying I also knew it was necessary. On Friday night I spent some quality one on one time with the bike. We've had a rough go of it so far. It's a love/hate relationship. I'm trying really hard to love the bike, but it seems to hate me and keeps making me fall. So, I thought we should have a conversation. Yes, I talked to the bike. I also cleaned it, ridding it of bad spirits via Simple Green. I let it know that I just want to stay upright and learn to love being on it. We came to an understanding. I would stop being so scared and it would stop trying to kill me.
|Its time for us to be friends.|
Saturday morning I got to practice and was still a little nervous, but not too much. We practiced mount and dismount areas and set up transition. Then we were off. A six mile loop (just under actually) followed by a ten minute run, repeat two more times. Triple brick. So, off I went. There's kind of a big hill in the middle of the loop and I was nervous going up - not too nervous about the up part, I was feeling pretty strong, but knowing the downhill was coming had me a little nervous. I got to the top, stopped for a moment and gave myself a pep talk. Off I went down the hill - sloooowly - seriously I'm not making up any time on the downhill, this is gonna have to change at some point.
Then there was a part of the road that was kind of shady and kind of sunny, and I was having trouble scanning the road, so I slowed down, afraid I'd hit a pothole or something. Also, around corners I go pretty slow too, always afraid I'll crash. I got back in just about thirty minutes (slow) and Coach Erin promptly let the air out of my back tire. So, I changed it. I actually did okay getting the tire changed. I struggled a bit getting it back on the bike, but with the help of a coach I was set. Off for a ten minute run.
I kept the run slow and easy, not wanting the groin muscle to give me any trouble. Since I knew I had to repeat this two more times I figured better safe than sorry. I got back on my bike again and off I went. I got to the top of the hill, actually feeling a little stronger the second time through than the first, and paused again for a moment. I needed to give myself another pep talk. (When I say I felt stronger going up the hill the second time, I was still ridiculously slow - seriously I feel like I could probably have run up it faster - carrying the bike.)
I started down and then less than a minute in, like 20 seconds maybe, I heard a pop and hiss of air. I knew I had a flat. Crap. Stopping while going downhill and not falling seemed like it would be next to impossible, but I did it. I sat on a little stone wall, pulled out my flat tire stuff and got to changing it. I was feeling a little frustrated and it took me a while to get it changed. Most of my teammates who rode by asked if I was okay or needed anything (even a number of strangers not on the team asked if I was okay or needed anything), I told them I was fine. (A couple teammates just completely ignored me - people who I know, which felt a little weird. I know you're trying to finish as quick as possible, but ignoring people on the side of the road is just plain rude, in my opinion, I wasn't going to ask you to stop, but acknowledgement would be nice.)
Finally, like 15 minutes later the tire was changed and I got going again (I did this all by myself, for the first time with no help at all). And, no more than about a minute later another pop and hiss of air. Seriously?!? This time I had to sit on the dirt on the side of the road. I was starting to get irritated. I meticulously checked the inside of the tire and the rim and found nothing (just as I had the previous change). A bunch more people passed and asked if I was okay - including strangers riding their bikes and runners. I assured everyone I was good. This time the tire change did not take 15 minutes, maybe closer to 10. I am getting better at changing that rear tire.
I rode back even slower this time, cause now I was hearing an odd noise, like a click sound. And, I had no more tubes on me. I didn't want to have to call for help. I finally made it back - moving time was approximately 30 minutes - total time closer to an hour. So frustrating. I told the coaches that the bike and I were having a rough go of it. I told them about the tire situation and after looking at it, said I was done for the day. Apparently the tire had split, meaning I needed to get a new one. Grr.
So, it wasn't the bike's fault this time! Evil tire decided to get in on the "lets make Elisabeth nervous" action. Not cool tire. Not cool at all. (I'm a bad blogger and forgot to take a picture of the offending tire while it was still on the bike - but here it is getting ready for its new home, the garbage.)
Since I couldn't ride the final loop I did a twenty minute run. The leg was feeling okay at the end, and I did the stretches the physical therapist gave me to make sure I would be okay for the next day's run. Still feeling good mid-week.
I took the bike to the bike shop on Sunday and got a new tire. This time I'm blaming the tire 100% and believing the bike did not set out on Saturday to make an attempt on my life - which has happened before (once was a group effort, pothole+bike=concussion). We will be riding again this week. And, I am expecting the bike and I to get along. No more hating me. We are becoming friends and will stay that way. I have gotten it a new tire and am contemplating a name. I don't usually name things like bikes, or cars, but I think I need to come up with a good name for it.
|taking care of my new friend and getting a new tire.|
|new tire that will not try to hurt me. and, the bike is all dirty again.|
Total mileage - bike ~12 miles in ~1 hour; run ~2.5 miles in ~30 mins (slow, but not painful, so all in all good for running)