On my ride back to work at lunchtime Thursday as I was rolling to a stop I noticed the rear wheel was rubbing on the chain stay. Had a few spokes really loose. Friday took the bike in to the LBS for a 100 mile + tune-up. Picked it up after work; they even cleaned the road grime off!
Saturday got my first flat less than 50 yards from my driveway. Heard that telltale air escaping that changed in pitch as the front wheel went round and round. Went back home and patched the tube, so much easier than doing it roadside. Discovered that I may want to get some tire levers as these road bike tires are tight on the wheels. Finally was ready to start my ride.
Weather was in the upper 30's to low 40's in the sun and windless. I did not push the pace at all, just took it easy. I mostly wanted to see how the compact double would work for me on long climbs. I was surprised. It seems geared slow enough so far. Maybe I'm just getting stronger. With all the gravel on the side of the road I was conservative on the descents still remembering my crash in December. Even so the windchill while descending was almost brutal. Good ride but also my first long one in some time.
I gave up on being manly with no tire-levers a while ago... had a flat, got stranded because I could NOT remove my tire and had to call the SAG mobile in. Fortunately, I wasn't that far from home, but it was way too far to walk. I distinctly remember being able to do the no-tool tire change 10 years ago though, hm.
The double worked out fine. I didn't struggle at all but I'm also far from anything close to spinning while climbing. I'll have some real tests for it and myself later this spring when the snow-line goes up above 4500 feet. There is a Cat 1 climb not to far away. There is also a much shorter Cat 2 across the valley. LOL @ Neal! Where I live I really have to go on long rides and seek out climbs of any significance. A broad valley between mountain ranges, not exactly flat but rather gently sloping. What I do have to deal with is wind so common for parts of the year that I refer to it as perma-wind. Nearly always 15-30 mph in the afternoons on days that it blows and that is about all spring, some of the summer and about half of fall. Winter is normally windless or nearly so and cold to bitter cold with fog and freezing fog sometimes for weeks on end. We also are almost a perfect rain shadow with little in the way of rain annually. Being able to do this ride during the first weekend of February on roads free of snow is quite remarkable. I'll take it !
Most of central Washington is similar in topography to where I live. That said the Puget Sound region, NE, Palouse, and SE, as well as the mt. ranges there are plenty of hills, mountains, and canyons. Just about everywhere but in the Columbia Basin, and most river valleys there is lots of contour.