Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Mechanical Disaster of Trial and Error

High today so far: -8 F and rising
Low today: -33 F

Well today was interesting. I had more mechanical problems on my bike than ever before. Big mistake: Putting an old (but never used) tire on the back wheel. Why? Read on. Ben and Heike came over and we started riding from the cabin, since the FCC winter ride was not happening due to the cold. This was the first time I rode with them, since I just met them last weekend.. and I am hoping they will want to ride with me again after the hassle my bike became today! We connected Miller Hill to Miller Hill extension, something that I knew was possible but wasn't sure what "no trespassing" sign to risk, and what narrow trail to take. First thing I did wrong was decided to become confident and go fast down the snowy road, and completely wipe out. No biggie, wiping out on snow is not a big deal, you barely even feel it. But I felt kind of silly for going so fast on the snowy road. Ah how quickly our securities can be wiped out, literally. ha ha.

Then, I let too much pressure out of my front (fat) tire. It was fine, no problems with flats since the tire is glued to one side of the rim, but I was just unable to get rolling. Thank goodness for pumps. Heike in her stylish gear and matching bike riding through an ever-familiar part of the Goldstream trails.
Ben enjoying the ride.
Apparently everything I own is black. Next time will trade a black gaitor for my pink one.. or the pink hat. Layering today was perfect, not too warm or cold. As you can see, the trails can use a little more snow.

Everything was fine for a few miles until I noticed that my back tire was very wobbly. And I don't mean just out of true, but really wobbly. It was kicking up large amounts of snow too.. flinging it in every which direction. I ignored the wobble until we got out on a trail parallel to Ballaine Rd.. where all of a sudden pedaling became terribly difficult. When inspecting the back tire some more, I realized that the tire had disconnected from the rim. What the crap?! I have never seen that.. nor had Heike or Ben. The tire was not flat but it was not connected like tires always are. So, needless to say I decided that it would be a good idea to ride the road the rest of the way home.. since it would be faster rolling.
Sunset on the Goldstream trails.

So then, after flying down Ballaine hill (of which I will never cease to be amused on, even when it is well sub-zero cold), I realized that my tire had come off of the bike rim. With Heike's help we got it back on, but then as I tried to ride again it just fell off again. I decided to just keep riding because at this point we also noticed that the knobs on the tire had been completely ripped off within the last 2 hours due to the cold.. so the tire was completely shot. Then the tire just ceased up because it came off again and got stuck on the brakes. Wow.. Alright then I guess I am not riding anymore! At this point I was about 2 miles from home so decided just to walk the rest of the way. Heike had offered to grab my car and pick me up but eh, it really wasn't that far and deep down inside I wasn't rushing to get back inside. The whole fiasco was pretty ridiculous that I couldn't help but laugh. While walking back home, a very nice young man in a subaru stopped and asked if he could help.. which I debated for a few seconds whether to take a ride.. but decided not to. I kind of wished I would have, because this young man was even good looking.. but my pride decided I wanted to walk. How funny our egos can be sometimes huh? Even in 15 below wrecked bike tires. So if you stumble across this - thank you nice person for asking if I needed help. And thanks to Ben and Heike for prepping some hot chocolate for when I got back to the cabin. :-)

The good thing about today's ride, besides the kick in the face that I am way out of shape to the point that my legs were burning, is that my feet were happily warm. I think we have figured out this losing feeling in the feet thing. Maybe. This is good news. Early last winter I was barely able to go for a 20 min ride without serious issues.
A very destroyed Maxxis high roller tire after a 3 hour ride at 15-20 below.


Heike said...

Of course we will go biking with you again Julie!! You have the coolest ever mechanical failures :)

Debbie said...

Nice Julie, very nice! I can't even imagine watching the tire degrade to that point. Wish I could have been there! I'm glad to see you have found some biking buddies, that makes me very happy!!

AP said...

I lol'ed at "this young man was even good looking" - to the point the girl next to me at Panera looked at me.

Carlene said...

OMG! Your pride got in the way?!! You missed it, girl! Fate had it all happen so you could meet this great guy and you let it PASS YOU UP!! Of course, eventually you would learn that he really wasn't that great and why did you waste so much time on him and... Hey! Share the secrets of warm feet in cold temps! Inquiring minds have to know!!

Brittany said...

Man! That is some crazy tire damage. LOL about walking all the way back... you are awesome :)