After a full week on non riding, it was time to brave the 65 degree February weather, the blustery 5 mph winds and glaring sunshine and get out there, anyway. How could I not? I hadn't been feeling especially well since last Saturday's 50 miler - still struggling with asthma meds and side effects. Once again I have decided that the benefits of the medicine are not worth enduring the things that come with it. I stopped them after last week's ride, so I was interested in seeing just how well I'd do yesterday. No problem.
Last week when I rode with Dave we followed his route, which took me over roads I'd not been on before. This week I added his route to my usual Saturday loop. It connects nicely and adds 10 miles of pretty, mostly flat, back roads. I need to explore some more of the roads around here.
About a mile and a half from home the front tire started making some noise. I wondered if it might be going flat, but the bike felt ok, so I thought it might just be the pavement. About three quarters of a mile further, a lot of vibration started coming through the bars and the handling got sketchy - the front wheel was trying to slide out from under me. Flat tire. I was still three quarters of a mile from home, but since the next half mile or so was uphill and straight I slowed and kept riding. I hate walking in cycling shoes and I was too close to stop and patch the tube. Riding up the hill went perfectly, but the last 1/4 mile to my house is downhill and through a couple of corners, a pretty good recipe for a crash with a flat front. I walked the last little bit.
So, I got in about 42 miles and averaged 16.5 mph. The Garmin tells me there was 1363 feet of climbing, and even a couple of eight percent grades - glad they are short. I really like the Garmin, but wish the heart rate was visible instead of having to rely solely on the alarm. I'd prefer being able to adjust my effort before reaching my maximum. Still, a minor complaint, though.
Going out to patch my tube, now. Today's weather is the same as yesterday's. Goin' for a ride soon.