Another Wednesday and another ride with my friends from the Caloosa Riders Club. It was surprising to see a good sized group this deep into the summer/non-snowbird season, about 15 in all, waiting for the start of the ride at the Sweetbay Market. There were even some new faces, which are always welcomed. The planned ride was the traditional 40 mile Coconut Point/Panera Bread “recovery ride”. With Larry heading back North for the summer, our 100 mile Tour de Larry might be on hold for a bit.
As is customary on these rides, we ramped up the speed quickly and disregarded any notion of a recovery ride, hitting speeds over 27 MPH as we neared Coconut Point. As we closed in on the ride’s midpoint, Jeff’s rear tire flattened out, the first of a three flat day for him!
We took our traditional break at Panera Bread, joking around and relaxing out on the patio. Once refueled, the group mounted up and headed slowly out of Coconut Point. I was going to stay behind and wait for the Trek store to open, as my new Lizard Skins DSP bar tape had come in.
Once opened, the ever friendly mechanic at the store quickly stripped off my old cork bar tape and proceded to install the new Lizard Skins tape. Although there was plenty of tape for the handlebars, there was not going to be enough to retape my aerobars, so I just asked that he reuse the cork tape that was originally on the handlebars, after all, it was like new and just a couple of weeks old.
The finished product looks very slick. It’s just as plush/padded as my old cork tape, but it has a grippier, more textured surface. Although it’s a bit more shiny than my old tape, it still looks great on the bike.
I didn’t get much of a chance to test it on my solo return ride home as I decided to take advantage of the mild tailwind and hammer a bit, keeping me in my aerobars the majority of the time. Curiously, as I was on the airport stretch, I saw three cyclists in the distance that looked familiar. I pressed hard to catch up, and sure enough it was three stragglers from the original Caloosa group, Steve, Andy and Jeff. It seems that Jeff had another puncture while returning home, and to really hit the point home, experienced yet another flat almost as soon as I had caught them!
Talk about frustrating…three flats on the same ride is just ridiculous! Good thing we were all carrying extra gear, otherwise Jeff may have been walking home. Hopefully that last repair held long enough for him to finish his ride.
Tomorrow we’ll be taking a scenic tour of the barrier islands of Sanibel and Captiva. It’s always a fun, picturesque ride as well as a bit of a challenge with the Sanibel Causeway bridge (the tallest climb here in SW Florida), especially with the winds against us. Hopefully Jeff, as well as the rest of us won’t have any run ins with sharp road debris.
Ride Time: 2:28:45
Stopped Time: 1:19:53
Distance: 40.74 miles
Average: 16.43 mph
Fastest Speed: 27.80 mph
Ascent: 1346 feet
Descent: 1302 feet