(Update 12FEB09: Since this post has been getting some traffic from people searching for Pedal to Pier, I just want to point out that the event was very well run and I thought it went well… it just really sucked for me!)
My Finish Line
What can I say… today was awful, awful to the point of being kind of funny. I really wanted to swim today but I had signed up for the Pedal to Pier bike ride way back in November or December before the Rose Bowl meet was announced. So instead of swimming I stayed on the Central Coast today to do the ride I paid for.
When I woke up the sky was looking pretty ugly but it wasn’t raining which was good. I think it’s raining in SoCal today so at least I missed that. I loaded up the truck and drove out to Avila Beach. The crowd there was decidedly more serious about this than I was. The ride was hosted by Team Columbia-Highroad which is a super legit international bike team that trains out here and I think some of the locals had delusions of this being a secret try out for the team. It was cool to see a few cyclists that I’ve actually even heard of before like George Hincapie in person.
The idea of the ride for me was to do a half metric century, not a big distance. I’ve done plenty of rides that far so this wasn’t a big deal. The ride out of Avila had a few tough spots but once we got to Hwy 101 it was pretty easy. Around 6 or 7 miles into the ride my bike started feeling funny. My back end had a weird floaty feeling. Not good. I pulled over to the side of the road and I could hear air hissing out of my back tire. Shit! I am not what you would call mechanically inclined so I called the race support phone number and they had someone out to help me within about 10 minutes. The guy from Wally’s Bicycles had my tire off in seconds and found some thorns stuck in my tire that are probably what gave me the flat. When he was done I thanked him and he drove off to catch back up with the pack.
At this point I decided not to push my luck. I have a swim meet tomorrow which is way more important to me than this ride so I decided to turn it around and pedal back to Avila. About a mile down the road I felt a familiar sensation… I was floating again!!! 2 flats within 1 frickin’ mile dude! I was out of tubes (I only had supplies to handle 1 flat) so after yelling and swearing for a while I realized that I pretty much just needed to start walking and making phone calls.
My Version of the Pedal to Pier Ride, notice I added a 2 mile walk
I ended up walking from the South Higuera freeway off ramp all the way to San Luis Bay Drive which is probably 2 miles-ish. I ended up getting a hold of my dad and he drove out to come get me. Since he has a Honda Accord coupe the bike wasn’t going to fit in there. Luckily I had a lock with me and I tied it up to a street sign next to the Hwy 101 on ramp at San Luis Bay Drive. Dad took me back to Avila so I could get my truck and I picked up my bike on the way back into town.
I dropped my bike off at my local bike shop right away to get new tires and tubes and whatnot since it is my main form of transportation. I should have it back later this afternoon. I guess I’m lucky that I’ve gone almost 1000 miles on this bike without a flat, but I can’t believe I got two right in a row like that! I wasn’t alone though, I did see 3 or 4 other people changing tires towards the beginning of the ride. All the rain this week washed tons of crap into the roads that was a big problem for a lot of the cyclists.
Now that I am done with my epic bike ride fail, I’m going to lounge around the house until Heidi gets home. We’re driving to Irvine tonight and then I am swimming in the morning. Hopefully that goes WAY better!
I even got a fancy race number
The parking lot before the ride
Despite the weather there was a lot of people out
why hello my flat friend
This is where I waited for my ride
This is my angry because my bike broke face
Yay! My dad showed up to get me