July 31, 2005
Training ride gone bad (good)
This morning I went on a training ride by myself. I decided I wanted to see where the Midtown Greenway ended, so I rode along Summit to East River Road to Lake Street and over to 18th to hop on the Greenway. Lake Street is a horrible road to ride bike on! It's really bumpy along the edges and car drivers are possessed by speed demons. Once on the Greenway I felt all the tension melt away as I was able to get up some speed and ride without bumps. I got a steady rhythm going and finally took a break at Lake Calhoun. There I filled my water bottles, cooled off and got back on my way.
I circled back around to the Greenway and kept heading West. When I passed by the Kenilworth trail, that was as far as I had gone before, so I really didn't know where I was going. I just kept following the trail around until it met up with the Kenilworth again near downtown Minneapolis. That was cool! Once in Minneapolis I got on some road, riding toward downtown. Right at Nicolette Mall I got a flat tire. Ok. No problem right?
I found a nice park bench, pulled out my kit, took off the front wheel, pulled one edge of the tire off, pulled out the tube, pumped it up to find the hole, released the air, patched it, put it back in, put the tire back on and began to inflate it. About halfway through, my pump broke and air started leaking out the handle. This is a Blackburn double-action pump and is supposed to be a good pump but this is the second time it's broken on me and left me stranded. I looked all over downtown for a cyclist that had a tire pump and as far as I knew the bike shops downtown were closed. I did walk up to One-on-one just to make sure, but sure enough. Closed on Sundays. So, I walked back down to Nicollet Mall and was planning on hopping a bus to go home with my bike in tow and head drooping. But then I saw the Target store. I went in and bought a ten-dollar Schwinn tire pump and solved my problem. After coming out I met this great guy who was riding a single-speed fixed-gear bike. We talked for a few minutes and he told me, "Once you try it you will never go back!" He also gave a ringing endorsement of One On One bike shop as experts on Fixies.
I got my tire pumped back up and headed over to the river through downtown. I found the entrance to the river road by the old grainery museum (by following another cyclist) I think eventually, being a cyclist, I'll learn my way around better just by getting out there and doing it.
So, I got a new pump, enjoyed learning my way around Minneapolis, met a fixed-gear rider and got a good workout in with a few rest breaks inbetween. Then after coming home, I even had time to even take a nap! My training has been pretty sporadic lately, almost nil really, except for commuting everywhere by bike, but this felt good.
My plan is to change myself into a morning person starting tomorrow morning. I'm going to bed early tonight and going for a hard ride before work. I think this way I will miss fewer rides and get in better shape.
Posted by carl1236 at July 31, 2005 8:46 PM | Cycle Racing
FWIW, I also had two double-action Blackburn pumps fail on me. The model that I had was maybe 12 inches long, a silver mini-pump. Blackburn sent me a new one promptly when the first one failed. This time I didn't even bother with getting a replacement from Blackburn because I don't need the hassle. I bought a Topeak instead.
Posted by: Jim at July 31, 2005 9:44 PM
I've found that early morning is the best time to ride. My kids are still in bed, and there's nothing on my calendar that early. After work, there are all kinds of reasons why I can't ride.
The only problem is that Indiana will begin to observe daylight saving time next year. This means I lose an hour of my morning so that others can have another hour at night.
Posted by: Dan at August 1, 2005 6:58 AM