Got off to a late start today. Got out of the house expecting a 3 hour ride, so I eased into it as I maneuvered the short hilly rides that take me to one of my hillier routes.
I got over the first big hill on my ride and all of a sudden I feel a squirrelly rear. (The bike's, not mine.) Damn! Flat tire. After cursing a bit, then I realized my luck. I probably got the flat going down a hill at 35 mph. So, I got into my "Mary Poppins" Camelback backpack, pulled out some tire levers a C02 cartridge and a new tube. I was impatient fixing the flat and didn't make sure the tire was properly set on the rim. After I inflated the tire it had a huge bulge, so I had to re-do it. The lack of patience made my stop longer. Anyway, once fixed I got going and hoped for no more flats. I was out of CO2.
The rest of the ride was great. I feel much stronger on the climbs these days. While there are no HUGE hill here, there are a lot of smallish ones, and one in particular long hill that has some very steep sections and false flats. Got through the climbs fairly well. Even had some juice to attack some rolling hills as I got close to home. By the time I was on the home stretch, my legs were complaining. Overall however, I knocked off 10 minutes off this ride from the last time I did it. And to top it all off, I saw the most beautiful sunset. I'll take a picture next time.