Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Ironman! (five days late)

I know...I took seven days off the blog. And then I posted five posts. And then I still didn't post this post and waited even longer. It's been nine days since Ironman, and I'm in danger of running into my next big ride in the form of the MS60 this weekend. Why didn't I just spread them out over five of those days? Because I needed a rest. Or because I had 12-16 hour work days. Take your pick. If you can't catch up, you belong on facebook ;)

But I have a good bicycling story unrelated to Ironman. On Sunday I was supposed to go bicycling with Ali from work (pictured at the bottom of this post). We were going to start at the park on Highway 13, just north of 494, and bike into Minneapolis and around the lakes and along the greenway. I got there before Ali and unloaded my bike and set it to the side against a trash can while I busied myself with my bag and pump. As a plane flew overhead, I looked up to see why it sounded so strange. And then it was gone, and I still heard the noise. It was my tube. The act of just sitting there had popped it. Fortunately, I was there early, so I popped it off, replaced it with the spare and started pumping. At about 20 psi, the new tube popped. I didn't even know that was possible. So when Ali pulled up I was contemplating whether to attempt a 20 minute patch job, or to just call it a day. I chose the second option, stating that something bad always seemed inevitable when I had multiple flats, despite not being a very superstitious person in general. Ali was worried because he hadn't been into Minneapolis from that direction before, so I told him to head down the trail to St. Paul along the river past the confluence, which was a straight shot.

The next day he caught up with me at work and told me that further down the hill he'd come to a do not enter sign and that another cyclist had told him not to worry about it and push on. He did, only to find that cyclist getting a ticket for a violation. He pleaded with the cop, telling him it was his first time on the trail and that his friend had sent him on alone, and that the other cyclist had told him it was ok. The cop let him go without a ticket, but when Ali turned around to head up the hill the cop told him no way and pointed at the huge, steep hill that circumnavigated the restricted area (there was a fear of falling debris during bridge construction). So Ali had to get directions from the cop and make a long, circuitous route back to the car.

I know if I had been along, I would have been the cyclist saying, "eh...that's probably nothing" and scored my first bicycling ticket. Fate was kind in the form of two flat tubes.

When I got home, I renewed my commitment not to have a non-functional bike again, and took my road bike into the shop for new, heavier rims (yes, a rim job), purchased two tubes for every bike, cleaned both bikes, and purchased a new spoke for the mountain bike I rode during Ironman. I hadn't even noticed it had popped one. Hopefully I'll be riding a road bike soon and enjoying some easier riding.

So the Sunday before last, Ming, Kyle and I went on Ironman in Lakeville. Ali went as well. But we didn't bike with him. We just saw him after the ride. It was very similar to last year, except it was just a bit warmer, so we weren't in danger of hypothermia. And it rained the first 10 miles, not the last 20. I still had water in my shoes, but I was much more cheerful, and fully willing to sit around Wu's for some Chinese food afterwards without worrying about changing my clothes.

Saddles covered with the latest in protective rain gear.

Ming. Doing his blow job exercises.

Kyle, running away from Ming.

Click on this one for the big panorama of Ming at the first rest stop.

Bikes at the first rest stop. My shoes hadn't soaked through by this point.

I've got layers upon layers. I was suprisingly dry, except for my feet, at the end of the ride.

Ali and Ming celebrating the end of the ride. Ali's quite the biker. He went from no mileage to over 100 a week. That's some serious pedaling. I'm a bit jealous, even though I get to hit the trails tomorrow.

End of the road at Lakeville High School. Only thirty miles, but the chill gets to your legs, so it's some work. Again, click for a bigger version of the panorama.


Anonymous said...

I think I still have spare tubes from RAGBRAI when we rode it. They fit nothing! Dad

LissyJo said...

THat sucks. Hopefully the rim job (ah hem) will fix your tube problems.

Which trail was closed? I've been falling into my obsessive phase of RAGBRAI training, now that ceri and i are confirmed this yr! You could've joined our team "Two Percent," with your mountain bike (2% RAGBRAI-ers are on mt bikes). Now it's too late.

Scooter said...

The Rivers trail going from just north of 494 on Hwy 13 going into St. Paul (by the Yacht Club). If you like climbing hills, that's a hell of a ride, particularly if you climb up and down the river slopes. I'm not sure when they'll have it open again - it'll mess with my breakfasts at Backstreet Grill and my hill climbing.

Let me know once in a while when you're headed out and maybe I can meet up with you somewhere in the middle if you're headed south-ish.

LissyJo said...

I just got back from that trail...and like hell i was turning back up the hill, so i chanced a ticket and went for it. I avoided getting hit in the head by a falling rock (and a ticket!). But i guess i should avoid it for the season. Bummer.

The trail just south of there is a nice one--goes into downtown st paul? I'm planning on going on rides on sat and sun...I'll let you know.