Day 2, 47 miles, Wednesday May 27, 2009

Harrisonburg Loop
(my odometer: 53 miles, 12.8 avg. mph, 4hr 7m 47 sec)
Max speed: 36.7 mph

Up at 6:00; 6:30 continental breakfast at hotel: waffles, assorted cold cereals, yogurt, muffins, orange juice and coffee; 7:30 on the road. It did rain some last night, no thunderstorms and the streets were very wet this morning. Basically it was a cold and damp start to the day. The forecast was for scattered showers this AM and some thunderstorms in the afternoon. The good thing was that it wasn't raining, so I decided that I would ride today. We had a choice of two rides: 47 miles or 74 miles. I chose the 47 mile ride.

As you can see, my odometer says I actually rode 53 miles - reason was we (Bill Manning and I) did several extra miles as we got off route twice, not on purpose. Also, I had a rear tire blow out. At 13 miles, apparently, I rode over some glass and it ripped a tear in the sidewall. We put in a new tube, partially pumped it up with Bill's pump, finished the job with a CO2 cartridge and then *POW* it blew up.

So we started all over again with another new tube. This time we inspected the tire more precisely and found a very small piece of sharp plastic that apparently was "hiding" inside between the tire and the rim. So we figured we found the problem. We didn't use a CO2 cartridge this time, just Bill's pump, and just as we finished, *POW* - It blew up again! What is going on here??

Now for a third time, we did again and used Bill's pump. As I was putting the tire back on the bike, and adjusting the rear brake pads, I noticed a strange sliver flap in the sidewall of the tire. Further inspection revealed a sliver cut in tire and quite a large hole. The tube when pressurized, was pushing against the edge of this hole and blowing. So I folded a $1 bill in half and triple-folded it again, and then placed it between the tube and the tire tear. I considered using a $10 bill thinking it would hold better??? Then we pumped up the tire just enough so I could ride the bike to the SAG (5 miles down the road) where Jim could lend me a tire and I could finish the ride. This worked! Actually another cyclist called Jim and he met us 2 miles down the road. He put a used wheel on back so I could finish the ride and I was on my way. All this fussing around took over an hour!

The only rain was a quick shower at 30 miles and another one about 2 miles from the hotel. I didn't take my camera today as I was expecting rain. Therefore I didn't take any photos during the ride. We did cycle in some very scenic countryside and there were many excellent photo opps, but even if I had taken pics, the overcast cloudy day would impair the quality of photos - maybe tomorrow. I arrived back at the hotel at 1:15, had a shower and had lunch at a pizza restaurant next to the hotel. I wrote some of this journal, went to Mechanics time so Jim could put one of my spare tires on. He also noticed that some of my brake and shifting cables were worn and rusty in places. He probably will replace all that stuff tomorrow in Stanton. Route rap was at 5:45 and then 6:00 dinner at WoodGrill Buffet. Mike told us at rap that today's ride had one 16% and four 15% climbs.

Tomorrow (Thursday) we will ride to Stanton with minimum climbing. We will be staying downtown at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel for two days. Friday will be a "loop" ride.

Paul Hargrave - my roommate

Paul Hargrave - shifting problem

Jeff & Sondra Lazer - cleaning

Tom Rudbeck - bike check

Mary Jo Peairs - chain lube

Today's route sheet

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