Yesterday we had another really tough day on tap with a 4100 yard swim, 3 hour ride with zone 3 and a 50 minute run. I kind of picked the ride because I am a huge fan of the soledad canyon route that I did last week. To make up the time it was decided that we would do a 26 mile warm up out and back on the frontage road, then climb the entirety of Soledad Canyon road twice. The only bad part of the climb is that the surface on the climb (and descent) is really, really course chip seal. You cannot descend fast, and it shakes the living daylights out of you. To top that off, every time I do that descent I have horrible flashes of wiping out and having all the skin shredded off my body from that road surface. But other than that the climb is wonderful. You get 4 miles of false flats, then the climb is 5 miles with the last 2 being very steep.
I was feeling pretty decent yesterday so I took the warm up reasonably hard. We finished the 26 miles at 20 mph and then hit the ascent. Paulo had the car and was driving to various points on the climb to cheer us on. Jonathan also did the first climb with us and it was nice to sit and chat with him a bit as I ground along on the false flat.
The first climb was uneventful. It is always harder than the second for some reason. By the time I got to the top I was huffing and puffing so hard that I had to stop for 30 seconds or so before I could turn around and descend. The last stretch is so hard you're afraid you will pass out. The second time is better and you become more confident with the descent as well. I take the first 2 miles in the hoods then got comfy in the aerobars and cruised down to the bottom of the hill fast enough to catch the girls that had killed me on the ascent. At the bottom, however, I got the distinct feeling of a pinch in my tube. That very regular bump,bump,bump. However, that tube had been in my tire for at least 500 miles of riding, so I just shrugged it off as something that must have been shaken a bit loose during the descent and I'd check it out when I got back.
The last 5 miles of the ride is just pure bliss. You get to come back down 4 miles of false flats on a nice and smooth road. I love to really hammer this section because at zone 3 you can easily push 25-30mph and you feel like you grew wings. It always puts a big smile on my face. All the climbing was totally worth it.
Schematic of the ride:
When I got back I was starving. I threw my bike in the back and started to make food. All of a sudden....
What the hell???
So I went to the back and saw this:
My front tube had blown in grand style. Surely a pinch flat and blew the tire right off the rim. I shudder to think what would have happened if that had blown at any point in the preceding 3 hours. But it also begs the questions:
1. How in the HELL do you get a pinch flat 5-700 miles after mounting the tire? I didn't even let out all the air to travel. Even had I drained the tube, this still happened after 300+ miles on the road.
2. Why on earth wouldn't it have blown when the tire was heating up in mid-descent?
So I think I just basically blew all my Karma (or luck) in one fell swoop.
Which actually may expain the puncture flat I got this morning....
A Few Good Swims
2 days ago