Fix It

During Saturday’s 65 mile ride (here‘s the link for that) I had three flat tires.

Now I know how to fix flats.

FixingAFlatFirst I had a low tire, and thought that it was a slow leak, but a mile later it was flat, so I fixed that. Then, coming down a hill back towards Park City – at high speed – I hit something hard and abrupt. It was the kind of punch that makes you say “ow” even though it didn’t hurt; I have that reaction when I hit a rock with my skis. I say “ow!” because my skis (or bike) have been hurt, and I feel the pain. That’s just plain weird : )

Anyway, I pulled over and the rear tire was flat, and I had already used up my spare tube on the previous flat, so I called Ethel and had her bring me some tubes. This took a while; it was a pleasant rest, and my bike sat upside down by the road while I leaned back just underneath it by a babbling brook.

So I used up both of the tubes that Ethel brought me, and then rode the bike to the bike shop to buy more tubes. And more CO2 cartridges.

One thing that struck me was how many cyclists on the road stopped to ask if they could help me. It was quite surprising. And some motorists slowed down to offer help, as well. This brook was close to the Park City Rail Trail, where folks rode by on hybrids and mountain bikes, and some of them also offered help; one lady stopped with her herd of three small children on bikes and was walking over to ask if she could help.

Lots of nice people on bicycles out there : )

One lady said that when she how my bike was leaning against that pole, she thought that I had wrapped the bike around it and must have hurt myself. This seems a mite strange because I was just standing there at the time, non-chalantly; had I actually wrecked like that, I would not have been standing, and I would definitely have been chalant : )

This was the longest and hardest ride I’ve ever done. I’ve done about this much vertical, but never this much distance, and when I turned around in Kamas for the last leg, I hit that last 15 miles of distance and ~1000 feet of climb heading into the teeth of a very, very stiff wind; the kind of wind where i felt compelled to keep pedaling even on the downhills. It was a ferocious wind; when I got in my car at the end of the ride and started to head back, the wind was even affecting the Audi.

I’m not able to swim right now; it seems that my episode from a week ago – the dehydrated concussion that I thought might be a heart attack – was actually a collapsed lung. The doctor says that the strenuous motion of my arms was such that somehow some air got into my pleural cavity (which is supposed to be a vacuum) and the pressure outside my lung caused a small pocket of it to collapse. The confusion, dizziness and weakness was probably the result of a strong drop in my blood pressure, which is indeed what it felt like – like that feeling I sometimes get when I stand up too fast, only it kept going for a long time.

So, since I can’t swim, I’m making up the difference with extra cycling time. And, starting last week, I decided that I’m tired of not running much; it seems like I’m losing conditioning, even while I’m doing all of the biking and swimming, because I haven’t been running much. So this week should be about 15 hours of running and biking.

Next week, I have a sprint triathlon in Cottonwood Heights; doctor says I can start swimming again then. A week after that, I have an Olympic distance tri in South Jordan, with an open water swim – but it’s in a man-made lake, where one never gets too far from the shore, and one can see the ground most of the time. So that’s a good one to get reinserted into open water. Maybe I won’t freak out and squeal like a girl.

And if I have a flat tire, I’ll know what to do : )

4 comments
  1. hinkmond said:

    Glad you’ve got tri’s coming up! They say systematic desensitization with increased stimuli of your phobia helps get over them (like your doing with a sprint tri first then olympic tri next outdoors), as long as you also practice counter-condtioning techniques (relaxing yourself when feeling the fear response start up), so deep breathing and physically relaxing yourself…. Come to think of it, not sure exactly how that’s done when swimming at full speed… Guess you just go to your “happy place”. Good luck, Jim! Go to your “happy place”!

  2. hinkmond said:

    Woo-sahhhhh…

  3. Alan B. said:

    Must have been one of those days – as the old saying goes – when the wind is so strong that you need the granny gears to ride downhill. I’ve met a few of those – occasionally even going uphill, but never with that big a climb – hats off to you, my friend. 🙂 And cyclists do tend to be a friendly, helpful bunch – at least while their cycling.

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