Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Job = New Trails/Roads to Explore

This week I started a new chapter with my new job at Fusion-io.  I was at Omniture (now Adobe) for almost 5 years and will miss many things about that job, mostly the great people I worked with and rode bikes with.  I'll especially miss the daily lunchtime timp foothill mountain bike rides. 

However, change is good and though often disruptive and stressful, it brings fresh experiences and new challenges.  I'm looking forward to discovering new places to ride up in Salt Lake County near my workplace including what will be a longer commute on the road bike.  From my place to Omniture was only 15 miles or so and I got to where I could do that between 40-45 minutes.  My new commute will be longer at almost 24 miles one way and will include a bit more climbing as I'll pedal over Suncrest and then climb up Wasatch Blvd.  I like that I have the option of extending the commute ride up Big or Little Cottonwood.  As far as dirt riding, I don't know much about my options up that way.  I guess I can easily hit Corner Canyon on my way to/from work.

If anyone knows of good options given my new location, I'd be interested in some ideas.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Long ride turned short

Ever had those days where the bike gods were not smiling down on you?  Well, Saturday morning was one of those days for me.  I was hoping to get one more big training ride in on the PCP2P trails.  I'd ridden from PCMR to the end of the course the day before since conveniently my family and I were staying in Park City for a few days on vacation.  I knew the pace would be painful since I'd be riding with single speedsters Mr. Rico and Mr. Zvirzdin, but some extra pain is what I needed.  We started at Silver Lake Lodge and immediately Dan and Nick set a brisk pace.  I was struggling to hang on once we hit the switchbacks on the Team Big Bear climb, but still managed to keep them within sight (barely). 

Near the top of Moosebones, we stopped as Dan announced he had a flat.  I started thinking in my head, "man that really sucks to get a flat so early in a ride."  Yup, you guessed it.  Not 2 seconds after thinking that, I heard the dreaded hiss of escaping air coming from my back tire. No worries, right?  The hole didn't seem too big and was on the bottom of the tread.  The Stan's should seal it right up.  Wrong.  Some of my Stan's came out but it wouldn't seal up.  No worries, no need to panic yet, right?  I'd put my extra tube in and we'd be on our way.  Wrong again.  My spare tube that I inflated with both of my CO2 cartridges had a hole in it.

Note:  I should mention that both Dan and Nick dug up an embedded sharp rock that we figure did the damage to both of our tires.  You should thank them next time you see them as quite possibly you could have gotten a flat on that same sharp rock that was positioned right in the middle of the trail at the bottom of a dip.

Meanwhile, Dan was not having much more luck as his tire didn't seal either and then his spare tube also had a hole in it.  Nick was kind enough to give him his spare tube.  300 pumps later (seriously) on the mini pump and Dan was good to go.

Back to me.  I decided I would try and patch the hole in the tube using Dan's kit.  So, I pulled the tube out and started searching for the hole.  The only problem is I couldn't find the hole and a patch kit is no good if you don't know where the hole is.  By this time, I was starting to get frustrated as the morning was ticking away.  I threw the tube back in and used the pump this time to inflate it, hoping that it would hold.  Well, it didn't hold.  In fact I spent like 10 minutes on the mini pump trying to get the pressure up past 20 psi, thinking all along that the pump was just slow.  In hindsight, I'm not sure why I didn't use the pump to inflate the tube while out of the tire as that would have helped me find the hole.  Oh well. 

As it turned out, I told Nick and Dan to go ahead and keep riding without me.  I then hopped on the nearby road and started walking back towards Dear Valley with the thought of fixing the bike and then maybe rejoining them at PCMR.  I quickly abandoned walking down the road as that was going to take all day and instead slowly coasted down on the flat tire.  Near the lodge, I connected back onto the dirt.  I pushed the bike for a bit and then grew impatient again and started riding once I was on the last stretch of service road.  This ended up being a bad idea as a rock popped up into my rear wheel, got caught in the spokes and snapped one of the little buggers.

At this point I was done.  I suppose I could have tried to get the wheel fixed at a bike shop, but as my luck was going that day, I would have probably snapped my chain, gotten another flat or maybe busted up my derailleur if I would've ridden.

Instead I went back to my family, took the boys swimming, rode the train in Heber and had a nice dinner on main.  Not a bad day after all.