that’ll teach me to skip the MassBike Summer Century!

I registered for the MassBike Summer Century and was looking forward to it. Then my wife scheduled a trip to Rhode Island for that day, so I had to cancel. But I insisted in riding while she and the kids drove. This was the planned route:

You might notice that just north of Fall River, the route goes through a green patch which is a State Park. Thanks Google Bike Directions for this not-great suggestion 🙁

about 45 miles into the road (without stopping), the pavement ran out in the middle of the state park on Bell Rock Road. I should have turned around or walked through the gravel / stones, but I thought I’d be OK just slowing down to 2mph and taking it easy…as I had on a ride to the New Hampshire border.

It actually seemed to be going OK, but what I didn’t notice was that my front tire had been losing air. When I pulled out the other end of the state park back and took a right, the front wheel slid and I went down. Hard. Luckily there was no other traffic around, but it was still painful.

Abrasions on the thigh (above), elbow, and butt (not shown…you’re welcome), the last of which ripped through my cycling shorts. Although I had worn gloves since departing Westwood at 6pm, I took them off literally 10 minutes before because it was getting hot. The drop bars were stuck on the frame, so I had to yank those apart and realign my shifters. The derailleur got messed up too as I dropped a chain.

I thought the soft front tire was due to the impact, so I tried reinflating it with one of my CO2 cartridges. That seemed to go well, and for a few miles I thought I was OK. But the front tire lost air again, and I felt myself wobble around a turn so I hopped off.

Pulled out one of my two spare tubes and put it on the front wheel. Inflated it with the second CO2 cartridge, which for some reason caused the tube to blow. (I probably did something wrong, but I thought the cartridges were only rated for 100 while the tire says 125…who knows.)

I had another tube, but no more cartridges. And I didn’t have a frame pump. So I went around asking various folks whether they had a bike pump. To my amazement, three different people offered! but they were all Schrader valves, and I didn’t have an adapter, so I was stuck in Westport MA. Lucky for me my wife hadn’t left home yet, so she picked me up on the way south. Here’s the final transcript:

Morals of this story:

  1. Once you’ve registered for the MassBike Summer Century, don’t cancel!
  2. Do not trust Google Bike Directions for long routes. Always follow the Rubel bike map.
  3. Always carry a frame pump, or at the very least a Presta adapter.

5 Comments so far

  1. John Craine on August 16th, 2010

    Three very good morals indeed. I learned long ago to carry a frame pump and presta adapter as well as my wallet and cell phone.

  2. mtalinm on August 16th, 2010

    ironically I have a frame pump on my commuter bike but figured I was safe with CO2 cartridges. won’t make that mistake again…

  3. mtalinm on August 16th, 2010

    oh, one more lesson: do not take off your gloves “because it is starting to get hot”…

  4. Pai-Ling Yin on August 16th, 2010

    You are nails! Rock on!

  5. […] – 14.7% grade on one of them. Actually going downhill was worse for me – since my crash a couple of months ago I’ve become gunshy about high speeds especially on corners or where I can’t stop […]

Leave a reply