Activity: road cycling
Location: Dupont Circle > Potomac/Avenel, MD
Distance: 36.1 miles (moderately hilly)
Weather: warm and muggy, 86 degrees
Avg HR: n/a
PPTC “A Quick One, Starting In The City” ride, led be me – at least part way. Y’see, I had a bit of an issue with my rear tires on the LeMond today. The just-a-touch-too-old rear tire that hade seen, oh, abour 3,200 miles decided to have its casing belts separate at about mile 2.5 of the ride – a dangerous situation if the tire were to shred on a high-speed descent or bumpy road. I sent the group on ahead – not an easy thing for a designated ride leader to do, for both practical and emotional reasons.
After lowering the pressure in the hobbled tire, I rode back to The Burrow (gingerly, on the sidewalk) and changed tires, using a spare that, while old and used, still had some life in it. Not. It started to burst (from an old cut) and rolled with a dangerous “thump-thump-thump” (the same sensation I had when the first tire was blowing out). Again, the risk of a blowout was high. Oy.
I returned the 2 blocks back home, called my fellow riders (a tip ‘o the hat to Pam and Colleen for leading the group in my absence) and told ’em I was switching bikes, to my Marin mountain bike that I use for my daily commute, and that I’d meet them at the rest stop at mile 25. The Marin has slick tires and isn’t a bad road machine, though my position is more upright and less aerodynamic than on the LeMond.
So, after a change of bikes (and the necessary change of shoes), I was off for a third time. I made great time, averaging 21 mph out to the rest stop – I’d beat the group to the meeting point! So I followed the route, backtracking the cue that I laid out (thus, an easy task), and met ’em another mile-and-a-half down the road, and rode the rest of the route with the gang. I managed to keep up just fine – in fact, I pushed the pace (easy for me to do, given the computer on my Marin has a dead battery, and I have no speed feedback).
So the ride ended well, and everybody had a good time. Pam, Colleen and I had frosty beverages at a local coffee house before going our separate ways.
And I had a blast leading a road ride on my MTB. Perhaps I should use it for leading other rides that are below my usual ride pace….