Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My kingdom for a tube!

It was a beautiful day for the 30th Annual Rosarito-Ensenada Fun Ride. I had been looking forward to this ride. The day however would end up being dissapointing.

Entries were very low. This is the third year I've done this ride and where three years ago there were around 9,000 riders. This year there may have been 3,500 if that. I'm sure that part of the low trunout is the media attention Tijuana has received due to drug related violence and rash of kidnappings. This was compounded by the announcement last year that the ride was to be cancelled. It all added up to a small turnout.

The weather was fantastic. Temperature was in the 70s, blue skies and a light breeze coming off the ocean. Perfect conditions. My plan was simple. Start easy the first 10 miles, pick up the pace for the next 10, but save energy for the climb. Get over the climb and then time trial the last 10 miles or so into Ensenada.Things were going well.

As we veered away from the coast and headed inland we started to descend into a small valley just before the big climb. The descent ends with a small bridge over a dry river bed. The seams along the bridge were a bit wide, but manageable. I rhythmically thumped along the bridge positioned towards the far left with riders to my right. I was boxed in. I approached the next seem and saw that the pavement had crumbled and there was a pretty wide rut. I hit it hard with the front tire and then again with the rear. Immediately I heard the hissing of air leaving my front tire. I knew both tires were flat before I dismounted.

Pinch flats happen when you hit a hard edge or a curb with enough force that the rim pinches the tube. This usually leaves two holes in the inner-tubes. My problem? I had only one tube with me. I replaced the tube in the back wheel. I tried to patch the tube in the front wheel. A few seconds later the tire had gone flat again. I tried to patch it a second time, used my last CO2 cartridge. I thought it was going to work, but the front tire was flat before I remounted. I waited about 40 minutes to see if a Good Samaritan would "lend" a spare tube. But no such luck. I packed it in, got a ride back to Rosarito and my ride was done.

Lesson learned: On a big ride, carry two tubes and more C02 cartridges than I might need. It was a big bummer. But I'm getting ready for my next ride. The San Diego Century. I'll be riding 100k for that one.

For now, enjoy some pictures below,

Ride on!

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