Yesterday I went to one of the local bike shops and bought a new set of Michelin Pro3 tires and two tubes. As mentioned in my previous post, I had a flat due to a hole in the rear tire, so it was time to replace them. I took Betsy with me to the bike shop, and let her choose the tire color; rather, she could choose between blue and gray. My bike is black and silver with the most subtle of blue accent in the paint, so I usually choose black or gray tires. Betsy's favorite color is blue, so guess which color tires I bought? In case you can't see the subtle hint of blue, I've included a close up photo too.
I wanted to meet some Team McAllen folks for a ride at 10am, so at 9am I headed out to the garage to change out the tires. I pulled the rear wheel, removed the tire and tube, and found not just the original hole, but a very large cut AND a piece of metal stuck through the tire. I threw out the tire and tube, and mounted the new tire and tube. I put a few pounds of pressure in the tire, checked for pinches, then inflated it to 115 PSI. I put it back on the bike, then moved to the front tire.
I pulled the front tire and tube, and threw them both away even though the tube had no leaks of which I was aware. I mounted the new tire and tube, put a few pounds of pressure in the tire, then watched the gauge on the pump drop as the air leaked out of the tube. I pumped it back to about 50 PSI, and could hear a leak near the valve. Drat. I checked my bike area in the garage, and had no extra tubes. What? I ran upstairs, and got my spare tube out of my ride kit. I ran back downstairs, mounted the new tube and tire, and it held air. Sweet!
It was then that I noticed the just-replaced REAR tire was almost flat. I pumped it up again, but couldn't hear any leaks. And now I was out of spare tubes. I threw the bike in the truck, drove the 1 mile to the ride start location, hoping that someone would have a tube I could borrow. At 10:05a, I decided to go back home and dig the good rear tube out of the trash. I got it, drove back to the start point, changed the tube again, and all was good. 4 tubes changed in the span of an hour, plus a previously unmentioned chain removal, cleaning, and installation. While frustrated with the need to change 4 tubes, I think my splits were pretty good!
Best I can guess is that I had a bad batch of tubes. I'll take them back to the LBS and see if I can get a refund. And I'll be sure and order a dozen tubes so that I'll be better prepared next time.
POST FLAT RIDE
The weather for today was supposed to be in the lower 70s by 12pm. Since I was riding at 10am, I figured that my normal short sleeve kit with knee warmers and arm warmers would be sufficient. At the last minute, I decided to replace the arm warmers with a long sleeve wicking undershirt. I froze the entire ride. The temp was in the upper 40s, and the humidity was near 90%, making it feel even more cold and damp. Additionally, the sun was hidden behind a thick layer of clouds. My fingers were cold, my toes were cold, and my arms were cold. I was miserable, but the riding was good.
In hindsight, I should have worn my winter socks, full length tights, full finger gloves, winter jersey with undershirt, and skully cap under my helmet. Yes, it was that cold to me. And you cold weather folks -- leave me alone. Also, I know -- a smarter rider would have simply walked outside and gauged the weather instead of relying on weather forecasts.
I decided to just do an hour of riding loops in Granjeno. I pushed fairly hard, averaging 19.1 MPH over 19.1 miles (yes, exactly an hour of ride time if you round off the digits). Since I wasn't drafting and the wind was low, I'm pretty happy with the results.
Lastly, as most cyclists will tell you -- all rides are good, but some are better than others. This one was good, and would have been better if I had worn the right clothing and not had to change 4 flats before starting.