Flat on the Queen K


This picture is not from Hawaii, it’s a random one i found on my computer.  This is how tough I look when I’m feeling loving and cuddly.

Yesterday I had my first flat tire on tubulars.  In 14 years I guess that is not bad and better to get it out of the way.  It also gave me my first real opportunity to change a tubular.  I’ve had this old spare from a track bike that is super thin and light and very pre-stretched.

Step 1- Rip the old tire off- no problem there- done in about 30 seconds

Step 2- Fit spare tire onto the rim sans glue and remember not to corner with any great ferocity

Step 3- Pump up the tire

Oh, missed a step, need to put valve extender onto new tube.  One problem, I don’t have an extra one and I can’t for the life of me get the one off the flat tire, it’s like someone put it on there with a vice grip.

Mike goes ahead to get into his set which is the wisest thing to do, nothing worse than being the guy with a flat holding up the other guys, i really hate that.  So, i struggle for about 5-10 minutes trying to get the bloody valve extender off and no luck.  Some eager passerbyers stop to help when i ask if any of them have uber strong fingers.  There were even a couple Germans who stopped who were rather large and ripply but they couldn’t do it either.

Just about to hitch a ride back into town and enter Justin and Belinda Granger.  Justin has the idea of the day- use a couple lava rocks to get leverage on the valve extender……voila it worked and i promised him i would mention him in my blog if it did so hats off to you mister granger.

Mission accomplished, fresh tire on and back into the set 20 minutes later, no major loss.  Moral of the story, spare tires are no good without valve extenders.  And when in a pinch lava rocks can solve most problems- there’s energy in those rocks!  It was an expensive ride though.  Take the two new tires I put on before this trip at $130 each and this one at $130 US plus $50 in labor and that’s darn near $500 in tires in less than a week.  So, if the folks at Continental or Vittoria want to sponsor me next year I would be most appreciative.

This morning we swam the course and I felt like ass.  Sometimes just not connected from the waste down but seemed to get going in the back half.  75 minute run this afternoon in the heat.  Felt surprisingly good and HR was still in control at the end.  Acclimation seems to happen more quickly than it did 8 years ago.  The heat feels more friendly than it used to.  A few more days and it should be no issue.  Spent 90 minutes in the pool with Finn after blowing bubbles and jumping in off the side.  Kids are the bees knees.

Rich and Heather are here with their two kids which is just dandy.  Rich’s 6 year old daughter just finished a two year bought with Lukemia so every time we see her it is a treat.  Tough kid and makes you really think about how lucky we are when they are healthy.  I can’t imagine watching your kid go through that at any age.  All the NFL players are wearing pink on account of Breast Cancer month which looks really cool…..pink shoes, pink gloves, pink hats…..fun to see a whole league get into it that much.

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