Learned my lesson..
Competing at my 5th 'cross race on Wednesday (Blind Date at the Dairy in Portland) I was having a great race until I hit a corner too fast, compressed my front tire against the rim and basically sliced a 8-10" section of the bead off. The tube didn't blow right away but it was inevitable because it was rubbing against one of the brake pads.
I didn't have a set of pit wheels with me so I was forced to either drop out or run another 30 minutes or so of the race in order to finish.. I chose the first option. What's most frustrating about the whole thing is that I have a second set of wheels with 'cross tires ready to go for the pit, but for some reason I decided not to bring them, basically ruining my race. Another kicker is that that I realized there was a problem about 30 feet from the pit. It would've been an ideal wheel change, if I had thought to have them with me.
Anyone else made a mistake similar to this and had to learn a lesson the hard way? What other newbie mistakes should I be watching out for as the season goes along?
I didn't even see the pit last night. I guess oxygen deprivation had kicked in before the first time I passed it.
What kind of tire pressure were you running? I've been lowering mine every race and haven't managed to flat yet. Maybe I'm just going into the corners too slow. (Seriously, you've been finishing way ahead of me.) At least now you know where your limit is.
My only DNF to date came a Hood River. It was because I pulled a muscle on a run-up. There may be a lesson here, depending on your age and fitness. I warmed up for about 30-minutes or so before the race, but I was feeling some weird tightness around my knee. I stretched a little and figured it was just one of those things a 40 year old body does. Then on the second lap, I was charging hard on a switch-back run up, hit a corner, pushed off hard and POP! I don't know if more/better stretching or warm-up would have helped, but I definitely think I could have known before it happened that something was wrong.
Pressure was somewhere between 42-45 psi. I'm about 160lbs, so that doesn't seem too low.. although I have felt the rear tire bottom out at that pressure a couple of times. Could be a crap tire too - Maxxis Raze. I like how it rides but who knows, maybe the sidewalls are just weak.
I've got to get a new pump. I use Maxxis Locust CX, and last Sunday at Alpenrose, I rode them at a pressure my pump told me was about 35 psi. No problems, and I weigh 185. For Wednesday, I was expecting rougher terrain, like last week, so I pumped them up to 40 psi, but that felt to firm, so I let a bit more air out. Again, no problems.
My cheap (Hurricane Essential) pump's gauge must just be miscalibrated. Either that or I need to ride harder. Maybe both.