So the Bianchi is broken. Not entirely but enough to make things difficult. So yesterday I take out the Salsa, complete with 2.2 Racing Ralphs and slime tubes. Ten miles into the ride I realize I have no extra tube, no pump, and no CO2 canister. Then I think, “I haven’t flatted on this bike in YEARS.” What are the odds? About ten miles from home I round a corner and the rear wheel feels like I’m riding in grease. FLAT. I pull over and try to patch it but it’s a hole next to the little ridge on the tube and it won’t hold air. Then I use a can of sealant I’ve had in my bag for at least seven years. Oddly enough, that didn’t work either. Then I called my wife. AWOL. Then I started walking. Ten miles. But then I received a text my neighbor, also a cyclist, and the driver of a pickup. SAVED.
So I made it home then swapped out my knobbies for my old Continental Travel Contact touring tires. 2.0 instead of 2.2, and running a higher PSI. I’ve put thousands of miles on these babies.(And I need a new set as I had to bend the wire bead back into shape before I could even fit them on my bike, and the sidewalls are dry and cracking from being in my roof box for a year.) I love German tires. I run Continental Gator Skins on my Bianchi, and in seven years I’ve never had a flat. Now, of course, I will.
The Salsa is not a fast bike, but this is a very comfortable bike and one that you can just grind on. Any kind of terrain, any kind of ride. So comfortable. So today I set a goal of fifty miles and nailed it. Slow, as you will see, but my goal was to stay in Zone 2 with the cardio, stay fueled with food and drink, and just GRIND. I wanted to finish and still feel fresh which I do.(Just had rice and tuna.)
Endurance riding, at least for me, is a very different animal than riding hard and fast. One of the most difficult parts is holding back. I have to constantly remind myself “No, no, no, don’t jump on some guys wheel and hammer.” My dream is a LONG tour. Across the United States. Alaska to Patagonia. S. America, north to south, or even a circumnavigation of Australia. A guy can dream right?
You ride? Good. Doesn’t matter how far, or how fast, just get out there.