On Saturday, I went out for my long ride of the week – 60 miles. I’d done 60 miles about a month ago but hadn’t cycled that much since due to summer, so whilst I was pretty confident I could do it, I wondered how it would go. My boys headed off to watch Manchester United vs Barcelona in San Jose and I headed out for my ride.
Now I was given a new lipgloss this week in NEON coral. It boldly declared ‘Lasts all day’. Hmmm, Stila, I thought. Really? Can you last a 60 mile bike ride? So I slicked it on,freaked out slightly at its neon-ness and set off.
My plan was to ride the 15 miles up to Brisbane to my little friend Rory’s third birthday party, eat his cake, cycle up a giant hill to Skyline, do an out-and-back to Woodside and then cycle home. Perfect. And it started perfectly until about 10 miles in, I heard a hiss from my back wheel and I’d got my first puncture on Margarita.
Okay, I could do punctures. I know how to do them.
Got the wheel off. Triumph 1.
Got the inner-tube out of the tyre. Triumph 2.
Got out my spare tube. Totally the wrong size.
Lesson 1 – Make sure you carry the correct inner tube with you.
No worries, I can fix this. Located the puncture. Triumph 3.
Scraped, glued and patched it. Triumph 4.
The patch didn’t stick. I tried more glue. I tried a bigger patch. Nothing. It was not holding. Various kind cyclists stopped to check I was okay (and rode on, freaked out by my lipgloss). In the end, after 40 minutes of roadside sitting, I admitted defeat, called a taxi and got a ride for the 1.5 miles (!) to Summit Bikes.
The mortification was huge. Walking into a very nice bike shop IN BRIGHT PINK RUNNING SHOES wearing NEON CORAL LIP GLOSS with a PUNCTURE I WAS UNABLE TO FIX MYSELF!
Lesson 2 – Make sure you actually DO know how to fix a puncture.
Lesson 3 – Woman up and start wearing those cycling shoes
Lesson 4 – Neon coral lipstick is a NO.
Honestly, so mortified.
The Summit guys were super-kind (and dishy, aah the lipgloss) and before long, I was back on the street and ready to go. By this time, I’d missed the party so I diverted up a big steep hill to Skyline and set out towards Woodside.
My head wasn’t quite in the right place. I’d been out for about 2 1/2 hours and had only done 10 miles. It took a good 10 miles of pedaling before I’d come to terms with the fact that I would be out here for a good 4 more hours. Angela mentioned that’s the same mindset that you need for LONG runs and she’s right – that acceptance that you’re going to be here for a long time and there’s no point chuntering to yourself about it.
Lesson 5 – Half the battle on this century ride will be having the right attitude.
So I stopped chuntering and started appreciating the nature around me. I cycled out to Portola Valley, turned round and cycled back home and stopped at Woodside Cafe for a pastry and a coffee. I got home much later than expected, with 60 miles in tired legs and one heck of a firebum! But it had been a good day.
I learned a lot of important lessons. I MUST learn to fix punctures. I thought I knew but apparently I don’t. I can’t let my century ride be scuppered because I didn’t learn basic bike mechanics. And I need to try out these clippy shoes.
Those are my goals for this week. Please hold me accountable.