Saturday, September 6, 2008

Helpful Cycling Tips

Ok, I was out riding for a couple of hours. I know what a shock...

The day started out well, but about 5 miles out, it started raining. Being the eternal optimist, I thought that it would stop, and I checked to see if I had my sunglasses ready just to spite the low clouds and water flinging in my face.

At mile 20, I flatted. And it started to rain harder...

At mile 30, I flatted again. This time it was the other tire, and I called it quits. Unfortunately, I was forced to quit as I didn't have any more tubes or patience. As I sat in the rain waiting for the SAG wagon to come and fetch me, I thought of some important tips for cyclists.

Rules for Roadkill:

I put the roadkill wikipedia link in there mainly because I couldn't believe they had an entry on the subject!
  • Close your mouth preferably before you get too close to it.
  • If you have a chance to inhale prior to the cloud of stink reaching your nostrils, do so.
  • Exhale slowly through your nose for at least 30 yards once you pass the unfortunate traffic casualty.
  • Try not to pass out from not breathing during a hard effort to get away from the stink.
  • If you didn't spot the nasty item before the waves of nausea inducing smell reach you, close your mouth so you don't taste it, and pedal as hard as you can to get by it fast. Again, don't pass out from the effort coupled with not breathing. Otherwise you may be the next thing that cyclists have to hold their breaths to avoid.

Mountain Bike Tips:

  • When bombing downhill. Be ready to stop at any moment. (A tree was down across the trail at Oak Mtn last weekend for me. Not good.)
  • Close your mouth when you ride through water. Mud doesn't taste good. (I seem to be on a recurring theme here.)
  • ALWAYS ask if someone needs help. You are a total tool if you roll by someone that seems to be in a mechanically induced rest stop. This includes times when you may not have the right tools for the apparent issues. I know that never happens. There may be a real problem where a cell phone and a medevac chopper could be somewhat important.
  • Carry more tubes and CO2's than you could ever need. This is mainly for others. (like me) There will invariably be some poor guy that is stuck miles from the trail-head with no tubes. Give them to the person, and ask them to do the same for the next person they see hiking their bike. It's a good pay it forward type of thing. Everyone benefits from this and you will get loads of good Karma for it...

Tips for me on a road bike:

  • After another crummy ride loaded with flat tires, I need to carry a minimum of 3 tubes at any time. My team the Steel City Cyclists know this after they all had to pitch in during one of my rides where I flatted over and over.
  • I am buying some new tires as these might be a little thin after 6-7,000 miles on them.
  • Try to ride more than once every month... I'm sure that today's unfortunate ride was a result of a bike that was royally P.O.'d at me for leaving it alone for weeks.

Ah, the sun's out now...

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