Rattle and fun

So much for setting off on a bike ride at 7am this morning. I was still sleeping at 7:30!! The Sunderland match was starting at 11 so wanted to be back for then.

Temperatures was back in the 30s. It is crazy to think that just one week ago temperatures were in the 70s. I have the suntan line to prove it! Ok, not very good proof, but it shows that it was hot. My feet were cold on Thursday after the ride but it was raining then and I think that had more to do with the wetness. So the plan for today was to do the climb up from Port Jefferson twice. Alma had asked me how it compared to Adamic Hill Road and I said that I would know better after today so I could do a proper comparison.

Going down Lake Ave. there was a definite rattle on the bike.  This was metal hitting metal and I was concerned that something was going to fall off the bike leaving me in a precarious position as I battled for my safety.  I kept checking everything on the handlebars but could not see anything loose and anything that would cause a vibration.  I reached the end of Lake Ave. and decided that I would have to get off the bike and look all over as I was now reaching a section where there were some fast downhills.

I got off the bike and noticed that the noise was being made by the inflator.  It had slid open and the metal inflator part was hitting the bike frame every so often.  Thankfully it wasn’t anything major.  I soon fixed that and I was on my way again.  I reached Port Jefferson and as I approached the climb, I began thinking I was nuts in making this map.  I looked up and it appeared long but it did not look anything like Adamic Hill Road.  Of course, that had other cyclists which hid the view and I was going past them and was shooting video so I had to make a good impression but this was still some challenge.  Reaching the top did not come with the usual feeling of elation as I knew that shortly I would be climbing the hill again.  I couldn’t remember how long my loop was and I was soon thinking that maybe the route had been messed up and I was not going to be climbing the hill twice. With that thought in my head I got a little spring in my pedalling.  However, I soon came to a junction and I was being directed right and back towards Port Jefferson.  I was not escaping so easily.

I came up the hill again and it didn’t seem any worse than the first time around.  It was nice reaching the top and knowing that I wouldn’t be climbing the hill again.  I soon came upon a different challenge however.  The GPS kept losing the route.  Not to the extent that it reported as being off course but my line of travel was missing from the map.  I had added on to the route and couldn’t remember which way I was supposed to go.  It soon told me that I was off course and recalled seeing a road leading off diagonally to the left which I thought may have been it.  I did a U-turn, went back down the road and turned right. Even though there was no road showing on the map, it reckoned I was back on course.  I was relying on the GPS knowing I was off course even though it wasn’t showing the actual course on the map. Most strange.

After 40km I turned for home and headed back along Route 25/347.  After 50km, I felt my back wheel deflated.  Two punctures in two weekends.  This felt like going back to last summer where I was getting punctures very frequently.  Since changing to the Armadillo tyres, I had not seen a  puncture till last weekend.  I examined the back wheel and the tyre looked shot.  I couldn’t feel anything sharp on the inside, anything that would cause a puncture, but I did notice that the outside looked very worn.  It was cracking in places and there was a side section that was coming away from the inside.  Not sure if that was the cause of the puncture or not.  But I thought to myself that it was time for new tyres.

I had forgotten to change the gas, I should have remembered, so I was left again trying to inflate the tyre with this little pump.  The tyre was not inflating that well and I couldn’t get it fully inflated.  I would have to coax it home again.  Setting off, I felt the back wheel wobbling.  I rechecked it but the wheel itself was fine – just the deflation was causing the wobble.  I decided it was something I could live with and continued.

My route was taking me past the house on the way back just so I could do the required mileage (kilometrage?).  I was debating whether to head straight for home and cut the ride but as I got closer I decided to stick with the route.  I eventually got home without any further mishap.  It had not been a good ride and the average speed was quite low, mainly because of the back wheel.  I do not trust the tyres and will be changing them before my next ride.


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