So far the Sunday morning Jack and Adams have been blessed with good weather, not too hot, not too cold and not wet. So it had to happen, Jack and I discussed the start and decided to split into 3-groups this week, the fast and long group, the extended no-drop group that would also do Decker Lake, and the out and back no-drop.
Just as were organising the groups for the start, it started raining. Initially a non-issue, I was surprised when a couple of the guys announced they were quitting and going to do the T3 3-hour indoor turbo session. The 60-mile group, then the 35-mile group and then the 26-mile group with Jack left taking it easy on the intown blacktop.
Getting out of town was pretty uneventful, although because of the size of the group and how spread out they were, it made it hard for me to marshal the stop signs and then get to the front for the next turn/stop. The lead of the group missed a right turn, but a quick sprint and whistle I got them back on course up Springdale.
When I got to Airport, there was the first of the group with a puncture. I stopped to help and we got the tube replace pretty quick and were determined to catch the group. Just around the corner on Johnny Morris there was another flat. I sent the guy on and set about helping the small group. They were already putting the tube in, I finished it off, mounted the tyre, we went for the CO2 and BANG, yep, went flat. Stripped the tube out, ran my finger around the tyre and ouch... There it was a small piece of glass sticking right through the tyre.
One of the other guys got it out, we mounted the tube and tyre and I gave my short pump and he started pumping... And yes, just before he finished the stem on the tube ripped off. Removed tube and tyre, blood dripping everywhere, mounted last good tube and tyre, re-gassed, re-assembled everything and we were off but a long way back.
We rounded the corner by the bud distributors and there upfront was the next puncture victim. Joey Trimyer, formerly the Pres. of Austin Triathletes, had done the tube/tyre, I just had to help remount the wheel. We pushed on as a small group, right on Decker Lake, left onto Decker Lane and rode in the direction that the rest of the group would be coming.
Right about then, the last tyre to be replaced went down again. This time it had to be patched. Off and going on Loyola, there was another puncture. By this time I was tired and cold, and still bleeding. I replaced the tube and remounted the tyre, inflated and we were off. Thankfully that was the last, but we were waaaayyy back from the main group.
After 183/Ed Bluestein I dropped back and waited for the last rider. We rode back together, alone. Back at Jack and Adams I was freezing, cold hands, cold feet and damp through. I had planned to do a 3-mile run and then another 30-milw bike. None of that.
After talking to numerous people, I rode home. It was only when I took my socks off I realized how much dirt and wet I'd picked up. See my legs, that isnt a farmers tan, thats dirt.
I cant remember the last time I rode and ended up feeling so miserable and dejected. Funny thing, it will be in the high 70's low 80's later this week!
See you next week...