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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-26-13, 02:27 PM   #1
xbrizzax
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Did my first organized ride in 25 years........ and it was a disaster!

Well this past Saturday, I attempted to ride my first organized ride in 25 years (The Five-0 100k). I fueled up at dinner the night before, had a good light breakfast in the AM, had my gear laid out, bottles chilled etc… I was prepared. I show up to the ride and the weather is gorgeous, sunny, 65 and no humidity and there is a big group of riders. I start out near the back and make my way up through the pack, finally settling in with a group going about 18-20 miles an hour. I figure this is nice and we are making good time to the halfway rest stop (plus, I was a little beat after bridging the gap to catch them). We all stop at the rest stop at mile 25 and take advantage of the awesome spread they have, they went all out with the goodies and drinks and were bending over backwards to make us comfortable.

About 5-10 minutes later, I roll out and get about a quarter of a mile down the road and I hear “BAAAAM!!!!” and I am riding on my rim. It was a blowout on my new rims (yes I was an idiot and put new rims on the night before the ride). I could not figure out how the tube blew since I checked carefully it was not being pinched when I put the tires on, did not see sharp edges in the rim, brakes were not rubbing etc… I chalk it up to one of those things, fix the tire (and have a nice chat with the man whose yard I was stuck in) and get back on the road. By now, I have lost the group and riding solo, I manage to catch a small group and ride with them for another mile and a half when…….”BAM!!!” and I am back on the rim.

This time I am mad, I toss my helmet and curse, knowing I don’t have another tube. I assess the damage and the tire is torn, people are offering to help, but it’s a lost cause and at 26.7 miles in I call the SAG truck bail me out. I was so disappointed, I did not even hang out for the awesome lunch they provided, and instead headed to the shop where I got the tire. It turns out the tire itself was the culprit, it split perfectly where the sidewall meets the tread. Gary at the shop apologizes, and says it’s under warranty and gets my fixed up. I am grateful, but still a little mad, and kind of nervous riding on these tires.

So, I head home, in a bit of a funk, I never imagined my first ride would go this bad after the work I put in. In the two months leading up to the ride, I had gone from not riding a bike in 25 years, weighing 224 pounds (5’11) struggling to do 6 miles. To 209 pounds, being able to ride 50 miles without issue and making nice gains in my fitness. I was so psyched for the ride, and having my wife and son there at the finish; and then to have to call her and tell her don’t bother coming because I had to quit was depressing. However, my wife rallied me back from the edge. She told me why don’t you go back out and ride a little bit. So, I go back out and do another 25 miles to clear my head and get back confidence with the wheels. It’s a pretty chill ride, but I do power my out of shape ass up a hill with some angry fire and get a KOM for it, which was a shocking, but nice surprise.

I have now moved on and I am setting my sites for Martin’s Tour of Richmond and completing a full century. Hopefully, this ride will go a little better!
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Old 08-26-13, 02:43 PM   #2
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Spare:





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Old 08-26-13, 03:13 PM   #3
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Wow that is a shame. At least you got to the first rest stop.
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Old 08-26-13, 03:13 PM   #4
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You will never know, but providence may have been smiling on you that day. You may have avoided some unnamed catastrophe.

Anyway, you will find those who have "never needed a spare tire in 1.5 million miles of riding," but I am not one of them.
I won't leave my driveway without at least a spare folding tire and a spare tube, as well as a patch kit and tire irons.
And, of course, pump and/or CO2 inflator.
There are many ways to carry one, from putting the stuff in a back pocket to under seat bags designed for the purpose.
Don't leave home without it!
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Old 08-26-13, 03:27 PM   #5
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I had an incident Friday just before leaving to drive 400 miles to Wichita Falls, TX for the HH100. I went out to put my bike in the Jeep GC and squeezed the front tire. It felt soft so I pulled the tube out and traced the leak to a failed patch. Getting the patch kit from my seat bag I found the glue tube dried out. Good to find this out at home where I have a replacement. Patched the tube, aired it up and replaced my patch kit. Checking the tire a little later and the new patch held. The current set of tires have 3200 miles on them so I expect to replace them in about 800. I have had a run of tubes that would split on the seam at the most wrong time so tires can do this too. Rode 75 miles without any problems.

Glad to hear you followed your wife's advice and got back on the bike. Keep riding.

You can read about my ride at Texbiker.net.
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Old 08-26-13, 03:44 PM   #6
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I thought I was covered with a tube, patch kit, levers, 3 CO2 cannisters, and a mini multi tool. I learned the hard way, next time 3 tubes, a spare tire, patch kit, 4 CO2 cannisters and my multi tool. Never expected back to back blowouts and a tire failure with a brand new tire, live and learn.
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Old 08-26-13, 03:48 PM   #7
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I thought I was covered with a tube, patch kit, levers, 3 CO2 cannisters, and a mini multi tool. I learned the hard way, next time 3 tubes, a spare tire, patch kit, 4 CO2 cannisters and my multi tool. Never expected back to back blowouts and a tire failure with a brand new tire, live and learn.
Or don't do a century ride on brand new tires and/or rims. Or new shoes, or saddle, for that matter. You were reasonably prepared. Spare tire makes sense on an unsupported multi day tour. For just day rides, maybe good to have, I suppose. But, you might ride another 10 years without having 2 flats in one ride.
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Old 08-26-13, 03:52 PM   #8
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I thought I was covered with a tube, patch kit, levers, 3 CO2 cannisters, and a mini multi tool. I learned the hard way, next time 3 tubes, a spare tire, patch kit, 4 CO2 cannisters and my multi tool. Never expected back to back blowouts and a tire failure with a brand new tire, live and learn.
Actually although 3 tubes is a good idea (I always have a least 3 on an event ride), just buy yourself a good mini pump, such as the Topeak Road Morph, and leave all that CO2 stuff and patch kits behind. Also a good idea, a piece of duct tape folded in on itself to use as a "boot" but frankly if it was a defective tire not much else you could do unless you are willing to carry a foldable tire too. So lesson learned, if something is working do not change it out the night before!
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Old 08-26-13, 03:55 PM   #9
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You already recognized the error of changing tires the night before an important ride. I usually attempt to perform any such changes or maintenance a full week before such rides and use the "taper" week to prove nothing will faulter.

On the subject of blow outs and carrying extra tires. I've had a fair few sidewall cuts and have yet to experience a situation that I couldn't get home from with the use of a tire boot. They are a heck of a lot lighter and easier to carry than a full spare tire. In extreme circumstances you can back them up with a bit of duct tape or even just a folding note/bill and use the air pressure to keep that in place. You'll have a small bulge along the cut in the casing, but, I've usually been able to get home on them.

So, for me, it's:

1 spare tube
Several glueless patches
1 Tire Boot
1 pair of tire levers
1 small multi tool
1 frame mounted mini pump
I'll add a CO2 cartridge or two for events or quick group rides where the etiquette is to slow but not stop while the flatted rider and an assitant fix the situation and chase to regain the group.
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Old 08-26-13, 04:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by xbrizzax View Post
I thought I was covered with a tube, patch kit, levers, 3 CO2 cannisters, and a mini multi tool. I learned the hard way, next time 3 tubes, a spare tire, patch kit, 4 CO2 cannisters and my multi tool. Never expected back to back blowouts and a tire failure with a brand new tire, live and learn.
You got it now...
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Old 08-26-13, 06:55 PM   #11
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I have only ever carried a spare TIRE one time because I had one of those gut feelings about my rear. Turns out I was right and I used the spare. I try to keep some of those park emergency boots on hand because they're so light, but unless I was riding way from from civilization I wouldn't bother with a spare tire.

I've run out of CO2 on rides before too - had 3 flats the day before Christmas and went through 3 CO2s and still had a tire too soft to continue. Then I bought a topeak road morph G (GREAT pump, kind of an inconvenient size) and now I have one of those lezyne road drive pumps.... tiny, works fine, works perfectly for finding leaks and filling tires after my 3 CO2 are gone.

Don't let it get you down, everybody has a bad day every now and then.
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Old 08-26-13, 07:16 PM   #12
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Was that Gary at TLC...i was just there last Sunday...Seems like a nice shop...Seems like a stand up guy.
Stuff happens all the time to somebody somewhere....Sometimes you're the bug, sometimes you're the windshield.
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Old 08-26-13, 07:40 PM   #13
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In the two months leading up to the ride, I had gone from not riding a bike in 25 years, weighing 224 pounds (5’11) struggling to do 6 miles. To 209 pounds, being able to ride 50 miles without issue and making nice gains in my fitness.
Looks to me like you are a WINNER - no doubt about it!!

There are always more centuries, etc.
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Old 08-26-13, 07:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by xbrizzax View Post
Well this past Saturday, I attempted to ride my first organized ride in 25 years (The Five-0 100k). I fueled up at dinner the night before, had a good light breakfast in the AM, had my gear laid out, bottles chilled etc… I was prepared. I show up to the ride and the weather is gorgeous, sunny, 65 and no humidity and there is a big group of riders. I start out near the back and make my way up through the pack, finally settling in with a group going about 18-20 miles an hour. I figure this is nice and we are making good time to the halfway rest stop (plus, I was a little beat after bridging the gap to catch them). We all stop at the rest stop at mile 25 and take advantage of the awesome spread they have, they went all out with the goodies and drinks and were bending over backwards to make us comfortable.
Sucks, but you'll be fine. it was catastrophic gear failure that got you. That is not quitting.

But now it's got me paranoid -- not sure the candy bar wrapper trick would have helped solve a blowout that bad. Damn new gear can be suspect. I test ride it, but you never know.
Reminds me of the time I found the glue in the flat kit was dried out, and one time I had an industrial staple embedded so deep in the tyre you needed pliers to get it out. That was a few mile walk.

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Old 08-27-13, 07:39 AM   #15
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Condolences on the equipment failure and congrats on the "going to keep on trying" attitude. As said repeatedly above--when it comes to carrying all the tire/wheel tools and spare rubber you could dream of when doing centuries-- I feel the old quote "Don't leave home without it" governs.

I liked that one reference above to those strange people who "never needed a spare tire in 1.5 million miles of riding," too. I've never met any of them and I find myself wondering where they all are. It seems they're a very reclusive, secretive lot...
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Old 08-27-13, 08:31 AM   #16
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Was that Gary at TLC...i was just there last Sunday...Seems like a nice shop...Seems like a stand up guy.
Stuff happens all the time to somebody somewhere....Sometimes you're the bug, sometimes you're the windshield.
Yup it was Gary at TLC. He is a good guy, and the tire issue was out of his control. But, he still apologized, looked everything over for me, made sure there was no other damage, got me a replacement and back on the road in no time. It was just one of those freak things. Gary is also the man when it comes to Italian bikes, and building up your dream bike to your specs. I highly recommend him if you are in the market for upgrades, a new custom bike (that's mainly what he does), or service. Might cost more than online, but it will be put together the right way, and he backs all his work (see above).
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Old 08-27-13, 08:45 AM   #17
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Thanks all. It was one of those freak things, and I learned a valuable lesson. I had always been one of those guys who never got a flat until that day, but this weekend it changed. Heck, even my lawnmower wound up with a flat on Sunday. Anyway, I plan to keep plugging along and have two more rides planned a 85 miler on Sept. 14th and the Century on Oct. 5th.

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Old 08-27-13, 01:44 PM   #18
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Ever since I had to walk the last 2 miles home in cleats (pre-cell phone days), I ALWAYS carry 2 tubes, a patch kit, an energy bar (the mylar wrapper makes a great boot), and a full-size frame pump if it fits. When I got my Bianchi I couldn't find a place to put a frame pump, so I carry a CO2 inflator, 2 cartridges and a minipump.

But tires and roads can still mess with you. I've had tires wear out before I got a flat, and then there was the tire that suffered a fatal cut in the first 100 yards of my first ride on it. Words cannot express my irritation at THAT one.
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