Saturday, July 16, 2011

Where's The Team Car?

Sure could have used a team car on today's club ride. Ever had one of those days where your gut instinct tells you to stay off the bike and do something different? Today was one of those days. Cycling out to the shop for the 9AM start it was windy and cool. I even felt occasional rain drops as there were some isolated dark and foreboding clouds. It was at that point I thought staying at home watching the TdF stage in the Pyrenees and then going to the Farmer's market might have been a better choice.

Since I am working tomorrow(Sunday) I continued on the bike as I would not have any other chance to cycle this weekend. It was a good turnout for the club ride and I jumped into the second group on the road. The pace was fairly fast from the outset but the legs were feeling ok after the 10km warmup riding to the shop.

After crossing the first set of tracks we got on the exposed section of Rockey Lake road which is gusty at the best of times with winds blowing off the lake. I'm not sure if todays windy conditions contributed to the crash but a newer rider touched a wheel and went down while we were in a paceline. I was fourth man in the line and as the rider fell to the left his bike slid to the right. EW avoided the crash with some deft bike handling as did I by veering onto the gravel shoulder despite colliding with the downed bike.

I was quite prepared to bail down the ditch into the adjacent pond figuring a swim is preferable to gravel rash but managed to keep myself upright despite cycling over the wheels of the crashed bike as it slid sideways into my path. Whew! That was a white knuckled moment. The good news is the crashed rider seemed ok - some road rash as his knee and shoulder took the impact. Hopefully he is alright and was able to cycle back to the shop which was a good sign.

I got back on my bike but stopped soon thereafter as something did not feel right. An examination of the front/rear wheel revealed nothing obvious so off I went with CH to chase back to the group. Bike still didn't feel right and it felt like I had a flat spot on the front tire or perhaps a true/dish issue from the impact? Once caught back on it was my TdF inspired wish to drop to the back raising my hand to signal the team car I needed assistance. Time for a wheel change but team car on BPCC's club rides.I continued in the group for another kilometer until the problem got worse and decided I better get the heck out of the paceline for fear of causing another crash due to a mechanical. No sooner had I pulled out towards the yellow line than the front tire lost it's bead.

Luckily it occurred on the start of an uphill roller rather than a downhill so I kept the bike steady and pulled over once clear of  other riders. Re-beaded the tire upon the rim but, oddly, the tube still had some air? Suspecting a slow leak rather than a hole I topped up the air and headed back to the shop.

Bike is now at the shop for some maintenance. I suspected I needed the bottom bracket regreased due to some creaking, the shifting needed to be fine tuned and, thanks to today's close call, the front wheel needs to be examined for damage. Since I had my MTB in the shop for brake work I switched my road pedals to the Norco and headed home on  knobby tires thankful that I avoided any pavement surfing. Guess I should have listened to that gut feeling this morning.

1 comment:

Kay Jones said...

You, sir, are a cycling MASTER. Well done to avoid the carnage.