General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Things I learned about my bike yesterday LONG Rss Feed  
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2004-08-30 12:12 PM

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Elite Veteran
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Smyrna, Georgia
Subject: Things I learned about my bike yesterday LONG
Yesterday, in lieu of doing my 10 mile run due to a slight hangover, I decided to do a 50 mile bike ride. I'm not sure why I thought that would be easier -- probably because I'm still spooked from bonking on my 5 mile run on Saturday.

Anyway, Hubby was going to band practice, so I had the whole afternoon to do it.

Of course, it started raining as he left. "Okay," I thought, "Time to figure out how to use that bike pump." Yup, I make Hubby inflate my tires.

I couldn't remember how that tab is supposed to be to lock it in. Up? Down? I unscrewed some things on the pump. Pieces fell off. I tried to put it back together but somehow, I managed to make it not work anymore. Darnit. Okay, I'll use the air compressor (we've already determined that it can't inflate past 80 psi). Hmm, why won't it inflate my tire? What am I doing wrong? Okay, I've inflated every other tire in the garage and I still can get it to work. Did I break the stem? So, I decided to change the tube. After working for about 30-45 minutes, I changed the tube. I used the air compressor and it inflated! Yeah! I saved the tube by the destroyed bike pump for Hubby to look at when he got home.

It wasn't raining anymore, so I got my stuff together and went out. I stopped at the LBS for a new spare tube and to borrow their good pumps. I had to ask the guy how the tab is supposed to be to lock it in. Up. Okay, thumbs up and you're ready to pump. I got my tires properly inflated and took off.

At mile 11, I filled up my water bottle again. At mile 13 it dumped rain and I got soaked. Since I was already soaked and filthy and would have to clean the bike anyway, I kept going. I got cold, but then outrode the rain and warmed up.

I rode and rode and rode, and didn't find anymore water stations. Darnit! At least I had some water left. Ate my granola bars, hit mile 25 and turned around and started towards home. It was starting to mist again. Then, as I'm passing two other riders, BOOM! The sound of the lightning that literally exploded right over our heads was nearly matched by the loudest girliest scream I've ever screamed. I was surprised I wasn't dead. I wondered, "Do rubber bike tires keep you from being struck since you're not grounded?" I turned to the other bikers and asked if they wanted to form a draft line so we could haul butt back to wherever. One couldn't (waiting for another friend) and the other soon smoked me so I told him to go on.

Then there was another downpour. This one wasn't so fun and liberating as the first. I was getting tired of squishy feet. I finally had reached the mile 11 water station again and got some more water. Finally, less than 10 miles to go. Saw a swamp rabbit and two cotton tails, which was nice. I kept wishing my helmet was filled with helium so my neck wouldn't be so tired.

And then, finally, I got home. At 8 o'clock. After 3 hrs of riding 50 miles, which was 20 miles further than I've ever gone.

I was filthy. Lucille was filthy. I cleaned her off (air compressors are a great help) and when Hubby came home, he reassembled the bike pump properly and tested the tube. Both were fine.

I had quite an adventure yesterday. Here's what I learned:
1. I can change a bike tube.
2. I cannot reassemble bike pumps.
3. Riding in the rain is not fun in the long run.
4. Lightning really can strike up to 20 miles away from the actual storm.
5. The time it takes to clean a bike after this kind of ride is ridiculous.
6. I can ride 50 miles!


2004-08-30 12:17 PM
in reply to: #55236

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Elite
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Subject: RE: Things I learned about my bike yesterday LONG

Fun day and entertaining story.  Where did you ride?

TW

2004-08-30 12:19 PM
in reply to: #55236

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Master
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Berkeley, CA
Subject: RE: Things I learned about my bike yesterday LONG
LOL--What a kick!

As to lessons learned, what's the inability to reassemble a bike pump when you CAN BIKE 50 MILES!! Nothin', that's what. Besides, you want Hubby to feel useful, right?

(o:

Dana
2004-08-30 12:28 PM
in reply to: #55236

Champion
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Orange, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: Things I learned about my bike yesterday LONG

Gee, just when we men think that we are indispensible, women learn how to do things for themselves!  Great story Whit, glad you made it home in one piece.  Oh, and those lightning bolts will cross right through those skinny rubber tires, trying to seek the shortest path to ground.  But you will never hear the one that kills you, if that's any consolation!

2004-08-30 12:36 PM
in reply to: #55236

Pro
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Andover
Subject: RE: Things I learned about my bike yesterday LONG
LOL! That was a great story and CONGRATS on the 50 miles! :D

BTW:
Unless you have sealed wheel bearings, and bottom bracket for that matter, you should probably repack them!
2004-08-30 12:41 PM
in reply to: #55236

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Expert
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Subject: RE: Things I learned about my bike yesterday LONG
Congrats! This was my first summer of half century rides, and I, too learned a lot about myself and about cycling, including the fact that I can ride longer distances than I ever thought I could, and that food is a very important part of these rides. Also, there is something exciting about knowing you are 25-30 miles from home and there is only one way to get back.

These ride do take more preparation - spare tubes, tire repair kits, hydration, nutrition all become much more important. I've also taken to planning my route and leaving a map of it at my house, carrying ID and some cash, and a cell phone when I ride long.

One thing I learned the hard way - riding in rain can ruin your bottom bracket on your bike. Not being a bike mechanic I had to have my LBS check (and eventually replace) my bottom bracket after several rides in the rain. Apparently some bottom brackets are sealed, the cheaper ones are not. The un-sealed ones can be easily ruined by riding in the rain. (BIKE GURU's - step in here please...).



2004-08-30 12:54 PM
in reply to: #55254

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Expert
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Subject: RE: Things I learned about my bike yesterday LONG
FWIW - you are save inside a car during a lightning storm NOT because the rubber tires insulate you from the ground (they are not thick enough to even come close to insulating you from the ground!!!), but because the metal 'skin' of a car dissapates the electrical charge around the exterior of the car on its way to ground. If you are in a car that is struck, the charge will still be grounded, it just passes around the contents of the car. It is possible in the interior of the car to get a shock if you are in contact with any metal that is part of the exterior frame or body of the car, though this does not happen frequently. It is still considered safer to be in a car than outside of a car in an electrical storm.

On a bike, you are particularly at risk in an electrical storm and you should get indoors (or in a car) as quickly as possible. It is an extremely dangerous place to be with lightning around. And remember, lightning can strike many miles away from the center of a storm, and the storm itself can be traveling at 30-50 mph, so an approaching storm off in the distance can very quickly become a real threat.

Be safe out there and don't let misconceptions about electrical storms put you in danger! One resource for lightning safety is at http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/outdoors.htm

2004-08-30 1:02 PM
in reply to: #55236

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Master
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Marietta, Ga
Subject: RE: Things I learned about my bike yesterday LONG
Whit,

That was a very entertaining story. That same storm came through Cobb County and a similar thing happened. My son and I were exiting a store when this bolt of lightening struck very nearby, so close that the light flash and crack sound happened at exactly the same time. Scared us both.

I'm glad you're okay. Furthermore, since now we know you can bike 50 miles, Tony and I will let you do a lot of the pulls Saturday on our Silk Sheets ride!

See you then.

Edited by Motivated 2004-08-30 1:03 PM
2004-08-30 1:53 PM
in reply to: #55243

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Elite Veteran
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Smyrna, Georgia
Subject: RE: Things I learned about my bike yesterday LONG
I rode on the Silver Comet. Started from home, rode 1.6 miles, got on at the 2.6 mile marker, rode to about the 26 mile mark in Spalding County, past the Rambo entrance, and turned around.
2004-08-30 2:01 PM
in reply to: #55255

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Elite Veteran
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Smyrna, Georgia
Subject: RE: Things I learned about my bike yesterday LONG
Oh dear. I don't know if my bottom bearings are sealed or not. Lucille is a 2001 Trek 2200. I'll ask Hubby for help.
2004-08-30 2:07 PM
in reply to: #55271

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Elite Veteran
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Smyrna, Georgia
Subject: RE: Things I learned about my bike yesterday LONG
Thanks for the info. I try to be careful about lightning, but it's hard to know when and where those isolated thunderstorms are going to hit. And it's hard to sit at home when you wanna ride so bad.


2004-08-30 2:10 PM
in reply to: #55278

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Elite Veteran
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Smyrna, Georgia
Subject: RE: Things I learned about my bike yesterday LONG
As with running, I can go long but not fast. I'll be taking my share of pulls, but don't get your hopes up about speed, especially since, if all goes as planned, I'll have run 10 miles or so on Fri afternoon. And I certainly don't average 19 to 20 mph!

See ya Sat. I may get Hubby to come with, but I don't think he's up for a bike ride a 8 am.
2004-08-30 4:39 PM
in reply to: #55236

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Elite
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Subject: RE: Things I learned about my bike yesterday LONG

Hey Whit,

If and when I get an opportunity to go with the Hotlanta Hotdogs, Motivated and TPlauche, I think I should get to ride the bike while they run.  It might be close to fair race with those rules. Maybe you should hold out for the TW handicap, too.

TW

PS  Speaking of  "Lucille", I got to see Kenny Rodgers on Saturday evening at a fundraiser in Chattanooga.  We all sang, "You picked a fine time to leave me 'Loose Wheel'".  Great bike name.



Edited by tech_geezer 2004-08-30 4:44 PM
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