Thursday, November 09, 2006

Key Learnings from a Morning Ride with Martin, Gary and Mark

I may be totally incorrect about this, but my belief is that if more riders understood the long term benefits of morning riding, more of you would participate. I know that getting up early with a nose, ear lobe and toe numbing temperature of ~45 degrees that this alone may turn many of you away from the much longer term benefits involved. Now I know you're saying to yourself that you're well aware of the cardiovascular benefits of having Gary drag you along
until your legs ache and it feels like you coughed up your right lung in someone's front yard a few miles back. This is a character building obvious short term benefit, but for most it's still not worth leaving your nice warm bed to take part in this, Rumsfeld like, torture on wheels. But for me, this morning, added a whole new perspective on why I ride in the morning, particularly with Martin and Gary. I learned several new things and reinforced several other beliefs that will have a lasting long term benefit for me. Most of these came from the activities surrounding Martin's flat tires, (note the "s" behind tire, this is intended to pluralize the noun). These learnings had such an impact that I thought I would share with the group.

Key Learnings from a Morning Ride with Martin, Gary and Mark
  1. After your first flat, at roughly 6:00 am, it's a good idea to locate your bike under a street light vs. a nice looking yard. (more on this later)
  2. It's a good idea to store your replacement tube in a plastic baggy with a small amount of baby powder, talcum, or talc. This reduces friction between the tire and the tube so that when you inflate the tube it slides into place with the tire vs. pinching and potentially flatting upon inflation. The downside of using too much baby powder is simply that your tire change site may end up looking like an area where the MedellĂ­n Cartel had a very sloppy birthday party.
  3. The most common occurrence of the redundant flat, or flat right after flatting, is due to the tube being pinched.
  4. The second most common occurrence of the redundant flat is due to Gary discussing how items that caused the original flat may still be penetrating your tire and after a short period of time, (lets say 15 minutes, or so), may cause the redundant flat. To avoid this, simply don't let Gary discuss the origin of flats with you while riding OR, check your tube for foreign objects stuck in the tire - like small coke bottle bottom sized pieces of glass.
  5. Gary, due to his vast experience, can change a tire in less than a minute. Martin is able to change a flat tube within two minutes. We're not talking two minutes like on a clock, we're talking two minutes like after the two minute warning of the Super Bowl sans the football, cheerleaders, somewhat entertaining Bud Light commercials and the enthralling commentary.
  6. When borrowing CO2 cartridges to inflate your redundant flat it's a good idea to match the size of the borrowed cartridge with the inflation device.
  7. At 6:20 am it may not be a good idea to compliment the neighbors on how nice their yard may look while changing your tire in said yard. To illustrate this learning please follow:

Lady in Volvo with really nice yard: "Are you alright?"

3 riders standing in yard in various forms of lycra: "Yes, thank you!"

3 riders standing in yard in various forms of lycra: "By the way, nice grass"

Lady with nice yard: "Wha, what did you say? Nice ass? Well I never!... I'm calling the Police!"**

3 riders standing in yard in various forms of lycra: "OK Gary, you change the tire. We need to get out of here!"

** Some artistic license was used in the formation of this part of the story.

I believe at this point if I haven't proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the long term benefits of morning riding with Gary, Martin and Mark then there is no hope and it's best if you just stay in bed. Come join us at 5:30 some Tuesday or Thursday. You never know what you will learn.

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