Some days, you are just meant not to go out the door. I’m not sure what it is, but there is some karma in the air that should tell the subconscious mind that you shouldn’t go out there.
Today, the ground was all wet from the rains the night before, so that meant staying indoors, at least till the ground dries up. Well, after seeing the Raiders shoot themselves in the foot (yet again), I figure that was enough, and it was time to go out for a ride.
As I was heading out the door, I put my Garmin on my bike, turn it on, but damn … it doesn’t have a charge. I forgot to keep it charged over night. Going on a ride without your Garmin? Sacrilegious! Well, I’ll just have to do without it, and not rely on instruments to gauge my performance. It has been done before!
Ok, so I decided to go up Redwood Gulch, then Hwy 9. I was going at a good clip, and I felt pretty strong going up to Saratoga Gap. I think I’m starting to get the hang of Redwood Gulch. Just think, I used to hate this hill.
Then, I headed north along Skyline, getting down into a tight tuck, streamlining on the descents, and cursing the ascents on these friggin’ rollies. Hung a right at Page Mill. Just before Gate 4, I hear and feel my flat. It’s been a while since I’ve changed a flat in cold weather … it is not easy. The tire was a bit stubborn coming off, and just as stubborn putting it back on. This took a lot longer than I would have liked, but at least I got the spare tube on.
On down the hill again, then suddenly I hear something from my wheels … as if something was rubbing. I was hoping it was like a leaf or something that got caught … but much worse … a second flat. Damn … now that’s too much of a coincidence. Plus, I don’t have another tube. I am convinced that it’s not the tube, but the tire. I recall when I was changing the tube, looking at the tire, it looked like the tread is a bit worn.
So here’s the situation … I don’t have any extra tires or tubes. Even if I did have an extra tube (several gracious riders have also offered), I don’t think it would do any good. It would just go flat anyways. I’m approximately at 1500 feet elevation, just above the steep section of Page Mill, and I also have no signal on my cell phone. So I had no choice but to walk down, in cycling shoes, until I get to some area where cell coverage is better. This is a long long way from home, and very high up, not even close to civilization. I accepted the fact that I am screwed, and may be walking out there after it gets dark.
About 5 or 6 cars pass by, 3-4 cyclist pass by (who offered their tube, but I declined, only because it would just go flat again)… then, this couple in a sedan, slows down, and graciously offers to give me a lift back home. Wow, at this point, I just wanted to kneel and kiss their feet. Michael and Peggy, had just finished hiking, and they were on their way home. They live in Sunnyvale, so it is very close to where I live. I feel very fortunate that they came by, and no matter what you think, there are good people out there. Not everyone wants to buzz cyclists and cause them harm. I didn’t even stick my hitchhiker’s thumb, but I did kind of walk down with the hint that I needed help. I owe them a debt of gratitude. I’m sure we will meet paths again, and I will return the favor … I promise.
I guess it’s now time to put my Continental GP 4000’s on. It’s funny, I know some cyclists who have tires in worse shape than mine, and they don’t get a flat. In fact, they go through gravel, and without issues.