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  1. #1
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    My FAILED first metric century

    I rarely have the time to ride this long but the moons were alined where I was able to carve out the time on saturday two weeks in advance. I ate, got dressed and loaded the bike to go for my first metric century. I wanted to pace myself well, so I went slower than usual. Everything was perfect, NO WIND, low humidity, my taint wasn't getting beat up by my saddle, and I just felt all around good.

    I mentally planned out my route, with some streets i have driven before but never rode, and the two longer stretches with a regular routes I ride. I did have a few hiccups with my route one I took a detour and a stupid dangerous one at that. I thought hmm its 6:30 am, no cars, let me cut over here to connect to the lakefront trail. Hammered through on a street I shouldn't been on tried to turn left before the light changed and got my front tire caught in crease in the street. I should have bit it right there but someone was watching over me and I was able to stay upright and ride to the safe street. HR spiked high, and not from effort, from being stupid. Still have no clue why i did the risky maneuver, i never ride like that.

    It was a beautiful day and I still felt great, did get caught up by mass groups of joggers running 3-4 wide on the trail. I'm used to that but this day they were out in full force for a good 5 mile stretch it was like a video game obstacle course. The more experienced groups when i said "on yer left" the one or two would yelp up "bike back" and the 20 runner group would give way. The other hundred groups could care less. Like I said I have gotten used to this but this day it was out of control.

    Later off the trail back on the streets i had to kick it up a bit to make a light, felt good so decided to roll with the higher pace of 19-20mph for a bit then a guy on a TT/Tri bike just flies right past me. Not a slow creep past me, like a double my speed thang. He just flew of in the distance, I have never been dropped that bad, talk about humbling.

    So i am about 30 miles into my 63 mile ride and thinking to myself dang I feel good I may hammer away the last 15 miles and see if I can get some Strava PR's. Then while leaning left on a 90 degree bend in the road i saw a big rock too late swerved to miss it but the back tire smacked it, and POP then HISS. Yep i got a flat. Pulled off the street to the sidewalk to change the flat. I have the Topeak Hexus II the comes with two tire levers. Here is where this trip turns, the first tire lever is cracked where it hooks to the spoke. Then when using the second lever, the second one snaps in half. Down to only one lever i tried my best until it cracked too. I tried may hardest to get the tire off with my hands and even tried my hands and house keys, No luck. All this is happening while roadie after roadie after roadie group pass me. No offers from anyone for help, nope not even one person stopped to ask if i needed help.

    I had to call the wife to pick me up. hung up the phone and then had a great brain moment. Since I rode along the lakefront and I broke down one block from a beach, i decided to call an audible. Called up my wife back up and told her to back up the beach gear and lets make it a beach day. So my failed Metric turned into a impromptu fun day at the beach with the wife and kid. Wife got a bit sunburned, I swam in bike shorts, kid found a seashell (in a lake?) and we all drove home with huge smiles on our faces.

    Here are some pics;


    Last edited by CJ C; 06-24-12 at 05:12 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    We need the pics!

    I love that you salvaged the day.

  3. #3
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    We need the pics!

    I love that you salvaged the day.
    Got two pics up, sorry issues with my own computer savviness

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Ouch. Glad it was a mechanical instead of exhaustion though; exhaustion-based failures are rather disheartening, mechanicals you can at least point to a solid reason for not completing.

    That said, maybe you should look into some metal tire levers. I've never used them as mine seem to work fine (honestly can't tell you the brand though, they're plastic and came with a really crappy glueless patch kit I got for my 16th birthday present 16 years ago; patch kit is long gone in the trash, but the levers have never failed.), but knock on wood, you can never be too careful. Actually now that I think about it I may order some of my own; I don't have anyone to call if my levers break!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Definitely a shame you had a mechanical abort. What tire/rim combination do you have? Many tires can be R&R'ed with a single lever and the spoke hook is pretty much worthless (IMO). In any event flats are inevitable. If you have a tire/rim combo that is hard to deal with get a few of the indestructible levers and have at it.
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  6. #6
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    You will get it done soon enough my friend.

    I might suggest a set of Pedro Tire Levers. They are strong and amazing.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Bummer, I've had levers fail on me. I now carry the heavy duty yellow polyurethane ones. Those car keys are murder on the rims.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  8. #8
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    Sorry nobody offered to help! Here in Texas seems all are willing to help. I have to take breaks well off the road to avoid people slowing down to ask if I'm ok--do I look that bad?!?
    But you have a beach so good on ya'! Grew up in San Diego, so I know how it is to have water close enough to ride to. Not so much here.

    I'm sure your next attempt will go well.
    +1 on the metal levers. I have a very old one and I won't leave home without it.

  9. #9
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Lemonade out of lemons. VERY nice attitude. I wish more people looked at life this way and I wish SOMEONE/ANYONE would have stopped to help.

    How did you feel when you had to stop. Would you have been able to go the distance? I'll bet you would have!
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  10. #10
    Senior Member terrapin44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ C View Post
    I had to call the wife to pick me up. hung up the phone and then had a great brain moment. Since I rode along the lakefront and I broke down one block from a beach, i decided to call an audible. Called up my wife back up and told her to back up the beach gear and lets make it a beach day. So my failed Metric turned into a impromptu fun day at the beach with the wife and kid. Wife got a bit sunburned, I swam in bike shorts, kid found a seashell (in a lake?) and we all drove home with huge smiles on our faces.
    Nice audible! Talking about making lemonade out of a lemon! Too bad no one stopped to help but a day at the beach after a 30 mile ride is not a bad deal.

  11. #11
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    Ouch. Glad it was a mechanical instead of exhaustion though; exhaustion-based failures are rather disheartening, mechanicals you can at least point to a solid reason for not completing. I don't have anyone to call if my levers break!!
    I was actually more pissed it was a mechanical issue than a bonking issue. the bonking is something i can control or get better at. it might be good for you to at minimum to get a coworkers number for support for the odd 1 and million chance things go wrong, like me.

    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    Definitely a shame you had a mechanical abort. What tire/rim combination do you have? Many tires can be R&R'ed with a single lever and the spoke hook is pretty much worthless (IMO). In any event flats are inevitable. If you have a tire/rim combo that is hard to deal with get a few of the indestructible levers and have at it.
    I have the stock Jalco DRX4000 rims with 700x23 Vittoria Zaffiro Slick tires. even today when i went to change the tube it took three levers to get the dang things off.

    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    You will get it done soon enough my friend.

    I might suggest a set of Pedro Tire Levers. They are strong and amazing.
    got some thick plastic levers that i tried today they worked great. the cheap tiny ones that come on the side of my multi-tool are garbage (as demonstrated) will be writing the Topeak people.

    Quote Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
    Those car keys are murder on the rims.
    stopped once i saw that the rim and key may end up trashed. it was a desperate idea at the time.

  12. #12
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbuddy2005 View Post
    Sorry nobody offered to help! Here in Texas seems all are willing to help. I have to take breaks
    well off the road to avoid people slowing down to ask if I'm ok--do I look that bad?!?
    LOL. on one of my routes on a differnt MUP pull over for anything for a split second and you have 15 people in one minute trying to help you.



    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoJoe View Post
    How did you feel when you had to stop. Would you have been able to go the distance? I'll bet you would have!
    I really felt great right before i stopped. right before i blew the tire I was actually thinking I went to easy and should have kicked up the pace but didnt because i didn't want to blow up at mile 50. the hardest part was waiting the hour for the wife to get there.

    Quote Originally Posted by terrapin44 View Post
    Nice audible! Talking about making lemonade out of a lemon! Too bad no one stopped to help but a day at the beach after a 30 mile ride is not a bad deal.
    we are making that our summer thing now, i ride and we meet up at the beach, a different beach though.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Big Pete 1982's Avatar
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    Bummer man. At least you had a good time at the beach! I always ask if a cyclist needs help if I see them broke down. They rarely take you up on it, but you never know. Even if I'm driving in my car and see a cyclist dealing with mechanical issues, I'll stop and ask. Hopefully if I'm ever in need of help, someone will return the favor!

  14. #14
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Kind of curious as to why you didn't ask to borrow levers. The many many many many many times Ive been asked for a tool by other riders, I've never refused.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Gravity Aided's Avatar
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    Park Tool levers are the best, next to metal, in my opinion and experence . If a lever's gonna break on a ride, it's usually me that breaks it . I went to metal on rides and replaced them with Parks a couple of years ago. Still going strong.

  16. #16
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Kind of curious as to why you didn't ask to borrow levers. The many many many many many times Ive been asked for a tool by other riders, I've never refused.
    I dont know why either, most riders were flying past me at a good clip. I guess i didn't want to interrupt thier training for the tour de france.
    Maybe by the time i broke the second tire level i mentally already called it quits?

    Its probably for the best any way as i switched from a frame pump to CO2 and never used CO2 before.

  17. #17
    FOLRB
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    Now you still have your first metric century to look forward to. AND you created a new tradition. Not bad.
    ca. 2000 Specialized Expedition
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    The only way you get that fat off is to eat less and exercise more.
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  18. #18
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    I always ask people if they need help. I had one jerk on a 30 mile SAG supported ride give me a smart ass remark in return after asking if he needed help. That caused me to stop asking people on SAG supported rides. but if you are on the local bike trails, i will ask. And you never know when you will pick up a riding partner for the day when you ask.

  19. #19
    Member savagemann's Avatar
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    Those Zaffiro wire bead tires are absolutely ridiculous to take off/mount.
    They have to be one of the tightest tires I have tried recently.
    I just changed some brand new ones out for a lady. Broke 1 pedros lever in the process.
    The folding gatorskins I replaced them with, literally fell onto the rim in comparison.

    You'll nail it next time!!!!!

    But I do highly recommend the pedros levers.
    I use them all day in the shop.
    Most other levers are garbage in comparison.
    Even the steel core ones.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Kind of curious as to why you didn't ask to borrow levers. The many many many many many times Ive been asked for a tool by other riders, I've never refused.
    I was wondering the same thing. There is always that dilema as to whether or not you should ask someone on the side of the road if they are o.k. On the one hand, it seems courteous to do so. On the other, it can get pretty damn annoying having to respond over and over again. I don't take it personally if people don't ask me, and I at least like to think that at least one person would stop if I made my need for assistance known.

  21. #21
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    I was wondering the same thing. There is always that dilema as to whether or not you should ask someone on the side of the road if they are o.k. On the one hand, it seems courteous to do so. On the other, it can get pretty damn annoying having to respond over and over again. I don't take it personally if people don't ask me, and I at least like to think that at least one person would stop if I made my need for assistance known.
    I think if i didnt have the wife support pickup, or any other pick up support i would wave down a fellow rider. I am more comfortable annoying the wife than a sweaty stranger.

  22. #22
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagemann View Post
    Those Zaffiro wire bead tires are absolutely ridiculous to take off/mount.
    They have to be one of the tightest tires I have tried recently.
    I just changed some brand new ones out for a lady. Broke 1 pedros lever in the process.
    The folding gatorskins I replaced them with, literally fell onto the rim in comparison.
    After inspection the zaffiro had a rip/hole and developed a flat spot. so with the rest of my fathers day money i bought some Mavic Aksion tires. we will see how it goes. Had the lbs inspect my rim just in case. he said the rim seems slightly oversized so thats another reason it was a b***** to get off.


    so got a new saddle and new tires. its like christmas in june.

    Last edited by CJ C; 06-27-12 at 12:29 AM.

  23. #23
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    I was wondering the same thing. There is always that dilema as to whether or not you should ask someone on the side of the road if they are o.k. On the one hand, it seems courteous to do so. On the other, it can get pretty damn annoying having to respond over and over again. I don't take it personally if people don't ask me, and I at least like to think that at least one person would stop if I made my need for assistance known.
    Not pointed directly at the CJC but I see a ton of "nobody asked me if I need help" threads. Of course it is courtesy on their part but you can believe if I NEED HELP, I WILL ASK.

    I figure if I need help, it is more my responsiblity to ask than theirs.

  24. #24
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I figure if I need help, it is more my responsiblity to ask than theirs.
    100% correct, i wasnt mad that nobody offered, just surprised thats all.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Gravity Aided's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ C View Post
    100% correct, i wasnt mad that nobody offered, just surprised thats all.
    Riding downstate, you know somebody
    is new to the area
    if they don't stop and ask .

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