Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tour de Tulsa

Attempted a century ride in Tulsa this weekend. With the weather looking pretty bad, and a low turnout, I started considering one of the shorter distances. Then the sun popped out through the clouds before the start, making it seem as though the 100 was meant to be (check out the pic). Wow, did I get psyched out! The clouds closed back up, and a cold rain started coming down.   

After a few miles we turned out onto the shoulder of a four lane divided highway for a long stretch. It appeared that there were cyclists standing almost every hundred yards fixing flat tires. I made it 17 miles before my first one......a wire from a steel belted radial. Once fixed with the only tube from my bag, I rode on to the next rest stop about 1/2 mile down the road. After a quick drink, I was ready to continue on my century ride. As I was leaving the rest stop I walked through a big puddle and just happened to look down at my wheels. There were five different streams of bubbles coming from my other tire.
So, after fixing flat number 2 with one of the tubes I bought from the SAG driver, I headed on my way to see if I could get to the decision point for the 100 before the cutoff time. About 50 yards past the turnoff for the metric century (62 miles route), I got flat number 3.
Used my last tube again, and decided the 62 might be the way to go now, so I headed off to at least complete that least that was what I was thinking at the time. At around the 35 mile mark, I was now back at the rest stop where I had changed flat number 2.....Of course now I was having flat number 4. The cases of tubes that the SAG drivers had been buying up from all the local bike shops were long gone, and I was wet, tired, and getting a bit hungry, so that's where my riding day ended.

As I was sagging in with the radio truck, I learned that they had had over 200 flats reported, and that close to half of the riders had sagged in. These guys said that they had been working the ride for 6-7 years and didn't think they'd had this many flats in all those years combined.

Of course it was still a lot of fun. It never fails.....when that much stuff goes wrong it always seems like I meet the coolest people. There was the guy from Buffalo, working on doing a century in all 50 states, the couple from Springdale on their new tandem, the ladies driving the other SAG truck that was already full but still made sure I had a ride, the couple from Salisaw who I'm betting might get a couple of ihome2go's for their bikes after we discussed everything from rain gear to seats, and of course the two really overworked guys in the radio truck that gave me a lift back to the start. Those were just a few of the people I met that make rides like this so much fun to matter how many miles you get in.

Can't wait for June.......

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