Flat tires, Adventures Race nuts and wacko drivers

by Brian Mullin on June 2, 2009

It has been a while, since I had one of my daily musings, and since I have been having some interesting bike rides of late it was time to add a new one!

For several months, I have been testing a monster fat set of Continental Rubber Queen 2.4 inch tires, and I just switched to a set of Maxxis Ignitor UST 2.35/2.1, and these babies are scary skinny in comparison to the Queens. They can turn on a dime and roll really well, but they have no suspension characteristics since they are so tiny (more like 2.1/1.9). They actually make me want to miss rocks in a rock garden, and it hurts when you grab some air. I swear that the rims seem to get tweaked more, and I can actually hear the spoke’s ping! I think the bigger tires are nicer on a decent wheelset, and these little skinny tires are detrimental, but that’s just an early opinion. I have already missed using a big tire!

This last weekend I went out on my usual trails up in Monument and ran into an entire spectrum of people. I came upon a couple of family units that were bike riding up the Mount Herman road, and the scenario with each was that the parents had decent bikes with good gearing, while their teenage daughters were walking their bikes up the road due to a combination of lack of fitness and junk bikes with worthless gearing. I felt very sorry for the poor girls as I flew by them!

Next as I left the road proper and started on my normally serene and quiet Mule trail, I bumped into a couple that must have just broken down their campsite, since the gentleman was carrying everything out in a giant plastic garbage can! And it got only stranger as I rode further up the singletrack. I heard voices all over the place, up the trail and on the hillside. It turned out that there was an Adventure Race going on all over the Mt Herman area. Thank goodness they were not continuing up the trail I was on. I continued up and over the Mule trail into Limbaugh Canyon and then made my way over to Colonels Revenge, which I felt very stoked about when I cleared the entire thing! Yea! The thunderstorms were just barely starting, and I still had some time and energy, so I made my way over to the Burn Zone via the Black Pearl trail. Of course I again bumped into the Adventure Race, ugh! I stopped and spoke with a couple of groups of people, and they showed me the maps they were using. It appeared that they were doing an orienting session and had a number of points they had to find, and at each point, there was a punch that they used on their scorecard. At one of the punch spots, they seemed to be mixed up where to go, and they were wondering if the T junction on the map was the one I was getting ready to ride up? I took the map, pointed it north and showed them that the T junction was obviously a 1/4 mile south! Ok, I guess they can’t read maps very well, or maybe I just have an innate sense of maps and I know where everything is anyway (it is my backyard). At least after I trudged all the way up the Burn Zone trail they all had left, and I got back the solitude!

Two weekends ago I went out for a ride, it started out nicely, and then it turned into a horror show. The start of the ride was a bit drizzly and humid, and then just as it got sunny I got 3 flats in a row. I have gotten flats before, but never in 20 years of riding have I had that many in a row. It turned out, I had picked up several roofing nails and they kept getting embedded in the tire and would puncture the tube! I had only one spare tube, and I couldn’t get anything to seal up with my usual tricks, so I had to walk out 5 miles on a gnarly singletrack in a thunderstorm, and when I finally got to a road, some wacko job almost ran me over, ugh! The Mt Herman road was very quiet with no one around due to the weather, and this guy accelerates just as he gets near me and then veers slightly towards me, so I had to jump off the road into the mud for fear of my life or at least bodily harm.

I bumped into a guy the other day that offered some tips for emergency tire and tube fixes. The first tip was to over stuff pine needles into your tire and put it back on the rim, it will at least allow you to ride on the smoother sections of a trail and get you back home. The other tip was to cut the tube in the section that has the leak, then tie a tight knot using the cut ends. Yo then put it back in, pump it up, and it will still leak slowly, but it will at least hold air!

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