Have you ever had one of those days when nothing seems to go right? Well I just had the cyclists version of it this morning.
It all started early as I was prepping my bike for today’s ride. I’m a creature of habit in the morning, where I stick to a well choreographed, almost superstitious routine…I’ll leave the details out for now, but some day I’ll actually write about it. As I was topping off the pressure in my tires, my puppy, a rambunctious miniature wiener dog, took off at full speed (it’s amazing how fast those little legs can move) down the street after seeing a neighbor walking his dog.
Not accustomed to having her run off like that (she always sits patiently and watches me prep the bike in the morning), I gave chase…in my cleats! Now for those of you who have never seen or worn cycling cleats before, they are specifically made to be clipped into the pedals of a road bike (think skiboots and bindings). They are not engineered for walking at all. With only three tiny points of contact with the floor and an inflexible carbon sole, your walk is more a duck-like waddle while wearing them. So picture if you will a lycra cladded, waddling duck with no traction, giving chase to a fast moving wiener dog…you get the picture.
I eventually caught her, brought her back home, finished prepping my bike, and rolled out. Before reaching the Sweetbay Market, which is about two miles from my home, I noticed that my cycling computer was stuck reading 9.8MPH and 67RPM. I tried cycling through the screens while waiting for a gap in the traffic to cross Colonial Blvd, but regardless what I clicked, the screen would not respond. I can and have cycled without the computer, but I’m a stickler for maintaining cadence, especially when riding solo, so I stopped at the Sweetbay to fiddle with the computer. I ended up having to pull the battery from the head unit and reprogramming the entire computer. Good thing CatEye has complete manuals online otherwise I never would have been able to get it working.
Ok, so duck waddle dog chase…check. Cyclocomputer reprogrammed…check. Finally, I was able to get back onto the road, and luckily the ride was turning out to be issue free, that is until I got to the stoplight at the bottom of the I75 overpass where I caught a red light.
I stopped and waited for the green, and waited, and waited, and waited some more. The light there is triggered by the presence of automobiles, and since this was turning out to be “one of those days”, obviously there were no cars besides me to trigger it. I would have run it, but there was a sheriff’s car sitting on the bridge hunting speeders, and with the way the day was going, I didn’t want to risk a ticket. So I sat there, moving about in the lane to try and get the light to change.
The sheriff must have been amused by my antics, as he drove down to me, rolled down his window and mentioned it would have been ok to run the light if the intersection was clear…so much for following the rules of the road. The light turned green and I sped off to Coconut Point.
Once there, I sat down for a little nutrition and refreshment break while catching up on some email…btw got to love iPhones, you can be productive just about anywhere!
Back on the bike, I chose to retrace my arrival route instead of looping out on Williams…perhaps a little change of pace, might break this bizarre day. Sure enough, the first light on Via Coconut was another automobile triggered light, but this time I just ran it after the first cycle.
I had a nice tailwind riding back, so I shifted into a bigger gear and sped up a bit. The return was going incident free until I felt the back of my bike get squirrely. Sure enough, I had a flat. So I pulled off the road and got to work repairing it.
I couldn’t find any sharp objects in the tire, nor a mark from the puncture, but there definitely was a noticeable hole in the tube. I put a new tube in, reseated the tire, and broke out my CO2 inflation kit (I use the mini CO2 valve from Genuine Innovations). I went to give it just a little bit of air when I heard a loud pop which blew out the locking seal inside the valve. Not being able to make a good seal with the tire valve, I was only able to put in about 60 or so of the normal 120 lbs of air I normally run my tires at, but, thankfully it was enough to get me home.
So, recapping, duck waddle dog chase….check, cyclocomputer reprogramming…check, prolonged red lights…check, flat tire…check, blown out inflation valve…check, but I was finally at home and could put all these incidents behind me, right? This is what greeted me when I got home…
Like I said, it’s just has been one of those days.
Ride Time: 2:17:21
Stopped Time: 57:57
Distance: 39.46 miles
Average: 17.24 mph
Fastest Speed: 27.64 mph
Ascent: 445 feet
Descent: 528 feet