Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

08 February 2009

It is good to have friends!

alternately, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers...


Hello, enthusiastic person! How was your County Line? Mine was outstanding.

14 starters at the 5am rollout from Watsonville. Several of us were cheating already, riding geared bikes. There were murmurs about this. Talk your little talk. It is strange to me that some people would rather have my absence on a SS than my prescence on a geared bike, but. Couldn't have dreamed up more perfect conditions weatherwise.

Rolled up to the base of Old Mt. Madonna, where there was frantic flipflopping from the "single"speeders. That climb was like nothing. We floated up in the pitch dark. I guess it was not being able to see the climbs looming. It had lightened enough for me to see the cue sheet at the turn onto Summit, which was nice. So I didn't miss it. The sun rose for real on dirt Summit, and it was glorious. No pictures (which I regret, esp. in light of what came next) as we were rolling so nicely along. Sun on high, clouds down below.

What came next was my 1st flat. I bid farewell to my riding partners, Punk Ass C__, and A___ from Ft. Collins, CO.

I replaced the tube, patched the old one, and rolled on.

After 10minutes or so, I got my 2nd flat. Ripped at the valve stem. DANG! Swapped back in the patched tube and rolled on.

After about 10minutes or so, I got my 3rd flat. I felt a weird hop in the rear, and then the tire blew with a loud bang. I was well and truly effed.

I called my friend J__, and told her my plight and my plan to try and make it to her place before they all left for Watsonville. She was originally going to drive my van from there out to the start. My van, which held my fixed wheel crossbike for the short course section, and my secret weapon, with it's fat 40mm tires.

I booted the tear with a gel pack, and used my last extralarge patch (which I put into my patch kit the night before in anticipation of an epic ride with all kinds of possibilities, haha).

Rolled on. Bumpbumpbump. Dropped the pressure, bumpbumpbump. Stopped, ate another astronaut food bag, and booted the outside of the tire.

This worked for a disappointingly short time. The wrapper wore poorly.

So, I stopped shortly and diassembled my front fender, which was attached with zip ties. I folded up the Esge fender (indestructable!)and strapped it to the pack and put the stays inside. Then I used the zip ties to reinforce the external boot.

This required loosening the rear brakes waaaaay up. And remembering not to use them!

This worked well enough for ~45minutes. It blew out at the top of Eureka Canyon and Buzzard Lagoon Rd.

Where I called J__ again, and the plan became that I would try and meet them at the shawshage market in Corralitos. And then I waited ~45minutes to hitch a ride down the hill. A real nice couple allowed me and my bike into their car. Cars are ok in my book.

Met KB at the store, and found that J__, M______, and S______ had driven up the hill to get me. Bummer. So I bought a tallboy, and we waited.

Turns out, KB was due to emcee the start, and my little wrench in the works would possibly prevent him from making it. He said he knew something was going to happen to eff it up as soon as he'd been told "we're counting on you", but he didn't know it would be something so farfetched as this. The lengths to which the man will go in order that he really fail to come through are impressive.

Ladies back, we changed the plan again and headed straight outta town to the start. This put me in the position of continuing on my geared bike, but what am I gonna say? J__ had brought a tire for me (thanks, J__!), but I figured I would be screwed because that's how my ride was going. The clearance on that bike is low; low enough that anything over a 32mm will rub, and even some 32s rub. We got to the start in time.

It was good to see you all!

Yes, the tire was a 35mm Panaracer TServ. I put it on, pumped it up, and it would not roll. Air out, would not roll. More air out, rolled. Man, that tire pressure was low. I was freaked out and flustered, and I figured I'd pinch flat right away once I got to the railroad tracks, so I headed out ahead of the start- then I could be getting passed when I flatted and I'd be able to bum tubes.

I met here with Mr. Craig Ashcroft:
and Christopher St. John:
for some serious railroad riding.

The TServ held up super well. I could feel it bottom out with frequency, but it held. Power to the pedals and lots of wieght off the seat. On and on. Chasing those guys with S______. Some yokels were sitting along the railroad tracks, and when Christopher St. John came by they yelled, "Hey, Monterey!" They were right. Craig Ashcroft liked to sit up and straighten his sweater's drape as it was tied around his shoulders.

Then it was through some of the stinkiest stink ever stunk, which really had me reflecting on the fact that the shore is the end of the line for every foul thing washed away from somewhere else.

There were these guys manning a beer stop:

Thanks fellas.

After that it was some riding and stopping at a couple bars for drinks. Brady's was a timed in/out 5 minute mission to get tequila shots.

Then I got another flat. But for variety, this one was the front tire. Craig Ashcroft's swinging bachelor pad was 2 fortunate blocks away, and we headed there. For whatever reason (it is not clear to me now) we decided I should just take the 700x23 front wheel from his townie. I know. I can't explain.

Yes, it was back to the tracks, where 10-15 minutes later...pinch flat. Weird. That tire/rim combo is cursed. I pinched the tire getting it back on. Took it off, patched that hole and put it back on only to pinch it again.Took it off, patched that hole and put it back on only to pinch it again.Took it off, patched that hole and put it back on only to pinch it again.Took it off, patched that hole and put it back on only to pinch it again.Took it off, patched that hole and put it back on only to pinch it again.Took it off, patched that hole and put it back on only to pinch it again.

Down to the last patch! Christopher St. John had foolishly stayed with me, and insisted that he be given his shot.It worked! Off we rode, until...pinch flat. I cursed so much. then we rolled over to some guy's house, and stole his front wheel off his crossbike, and rolled on.

my 3rd front wheel of the day.

We got to the beach and I said,"There is no ____ing way I am putting my drivetrain through that. Nor am I riding it on these skinny tires. See ya." Christopher St. John cursed so much.

So it was the road to Watsonville and a fun party with like-minded individuals.

Good Times.

That is how my bike looked this morning. See how great it would have been on the other? I'd have totally won.

Thank you so much, people who helped me! Y'all are solid and have good attitudes.


Jonny Hamachi said...


Human Wrecking Ball said...

Jeez, I am pretty sure I would have thrown myslef, and my bike, off the nearest scenic over look!
Nice post (wait I just flatted)... yeah nice post!

Gunnar Berg said...

One cannot put a price on good rubber.

Little_Jewford said...

I still think it looks like I missed a f'in good time, ahh, the lameness sinks in.

Are you planning on heading to the J.P. ride later in the month. I'm 100% down, though I know I'm going to be hating life by the end of the day. Anyone want to by my Kona Jake so I can buy something steel?

reverend dick said...

JH-that is flattering, and thank you. Maybe, if it had rained on me to boot, and I had not gotten a ride in a car, and THEN kept going...maybe then.

Human-you'd have had fun. It was fun.

Gunnar- yes. "Bad luck on bald tires" is my new middle name.

LJ- I am planning on going. It sounds like a real Good cross Time.

D____ G___ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
reverend dick said...

you son-of-a-bitch, I'll get you for that.

Tom said...

S I C K.

Very often my favourite part of riding is the forgetting.

D____ G___ said...

fine. how's this then?

reverend dick said...

That'll do, Pig.

I can only hope I was making that face on purpose.

Anonymous said...