Last week after my first flat on a ride I made a comment that I needed to spend some quality time in the comfort of my own home changing a tire so that I could learn to get comfortable with it. Turns out that I had my first chance for that on Friday night. I was hanging out in my garage putting my new bottle cages on. I took a look at the bike tire and it was feeling really flat. When I tried to unscrew the little cap to pump it up, this happened:
It wasn’t too big of a deal changing it, but I’m not sure I’m in love with these tubes since the stems are a bit short. Once the tire was changed and the wheel back on the bike the Canucks – St. Louis game was starting up and I settled into the coach for the night. Wow, was it an amazing game last night with some fantastic goaltending! Highlights are here.
This morning we had our first team group ride outdoors. We met up at 11:00 just outside of Cochrane. I was pretty nervous driving in – there are a few Canadian flags at the turnoff and they were really blowing in the wind. I had visions of my ride from a couple of weeks ago that was just miserably windy. I never counted but I’m guessing that we probably had 20 people or so show up. Some of us were teammates, there were a couple of girls from the Canada Junior team (?) that Angie is working with, and a few other friends of Angie’s. Angie wanted us to spin high cadence above 90 RPM as much as possible and just get comfortable being on the bike – reaching for your water bottle, moving around in your handlebars, that sort of stuff. I was feeling really good riding – way better than a couple of weeks ago, although to be fair, that ride was after a big run weekend including a 10K race. As we started to hit the rolling uphills I was feeling strong on those hills. It was windy out, but luckily it felt like a crosswind most of the time. At one point a peloton of probably 10 riders zoomed right past us. They were riding in a big pack really close to one another, taking up the entire road with. When they were right behind me it almost sounded like a car was passing. They flew past almost like I was standing still.
Before I knew it I was up near the front of the pack and having a blast. We turned on to the road where the rolling hills became a bit bigger. Last year this spot was my nemesis and I always struggled and huffed and puffed my way along. I was expecting to get dropped like a hot potato by the riders around me, but to my surprise I stayed strong. Why had this stretch felt so difficult last year? I even powered my way up this hill really well too:
The picture really doesn’t do it justice, but it always looks scary and big to me. Anyhow, it looks like all of the riding indoors is paying off! When we hit the stop sign we regrouped and I took the opportunity to down a vanilla Hammer Gel. All of the tough uphill riding was behind us. We continued on in a loop rather than doing an out and back. I took off with a couple of teammates, Karen and Leslie Ann. These ladies are such a hoot and I loved riding with them. We hit another stop sign and turned to head back towards Cochrane. From here there were some rollers, but it was pretty well a net downhill. We were just flying back!! We finished up a loop back to our cars and rode for 26.5 miles.
I threw the bike back in the car, swapped out the bike shoes for some running shoes and took off on my T2 run. I ran an out and back along a gravel road and my legs felt dead. The crazy uphill along the road didn’t help much either! Despite feeling like I’m going nowhere I am always surprised at my pace on these post-bike runs. I ran just short of 20 minutes, then hopped in the car and headed home for some lunch.
After scarfing down my lunch I settled in to watch this past week’s episode of CSI. Hilarious and interesting episode (loved the crazy sci-fi TV show story line) but I just couldn’t keep my eyes open and I wound up napping for three hours…in my bike clothes and ball cap!!
Anyhow, time to run since I’ve got to eat (again) and head off to a friend’s birthday party – happy birthday Michelle!! I just saw this on TV though. Apparently some yahoo stole a stick out of Alexei Kovalev’s hand through the little hole in the glass for press photographers. How crazy is that?