Boom goes the tire

Last Friday, fantastic weather and an available vacation day converged to allow for another attempt at increasing my mileage on my road bike.  My plan was to crank through 75 to 80 miles solo.  This would be the longest I had ridden alone.  A month ago, along with two other people, we road 80 miles so it was not a matter of getting that far.  The biggest issue was carrying all the things I would need to consume on the trip.  I’m not sure how things are in your town, but I do not feel comfortable leaving my bike outside a convenience store to go in and purchase water.  Perhaps I’m paranoid. 

Riding gives you a lot of time to think, and sing songs in your head.  I tend not to take an iPod or MP3 player on ride.  Never mind the fact that I don’t own either of those, I just find it’s better to hear the cars, motorcycles, semi-trucks and tractors coming up behind me rather than just noticing them as they drive by.  The further I got in my ride, the more I noticed the change in roads, traffic, wind patterns, smells, and wildlife.  Either that or I got progressively delirious.  Somewhere halfway through my ride, I decided I should try to recall something about each road with the exception of mine since there really is nothing memorable about it.  Let’s see how good my memory is.

Jefferson Road:  I didn’t start on this road, but after a few miles, started here and headed East.  Nice shoulder on both sides of the roads.  That’s one thing about this area, if a road is part of a bike route; they tend to put a nice wide shoulder on there.  That way there really isn’t an excuse for not riding on it.

East Street:  not part of a bike route and therefore, no real shoulders, but light traffic.  I should mention that I had quite a great day with cars on the road.  They were all very courteous, waved me to go ahead at four way stops, gave me plenty of space, waited before passing on curves, and with the exception of one car of idiots, it was a nice clean ride.

Park Road, Route 96, Fishers Road:  This was a little detour so that I could get a few hills in early in the trip.  I was not on 96 for long thankfully.  Park Road and Fishers takes you through and around Powdermill Park past the fish hatchery and then out toward Victor.  Fishers Road took me to Main Street in Fishers.  This was a road I had ridden a few times, at least part of it during the black diamond duathlon.

Mile Square, Taylor, Strong, Dryer, Willis Hill:  A nice little circuit that eats up a few miles with some rolling hills.  Willis Hill is a nice easy down hill where you don’t pick up too much speed and can relax a little.  In other words, it’s a great place to eat a bagel and peanut butter sandwich while you cruise along.

Route 251:  This road was a little rough.  The shoulders are a bit narrow, but at least there are some.  Cars go by fast, but tend to give you space.  The challenge was the headwind heading up to Route 65.  It’s been a while since I went into Honeoye from the north not the west.  Two nice down hills and a long, long up hill and you are down in the town to stop at a gas station to offload garbage, refill a water bottle (and lighten your back pockets) and in case your mother calls (mine did), you can talk with her while you’re stopped.

27 miles in is a great time to check progress.  How are the legs, neck and lets not forget your butt.  After all, it’s not like those bicycle seats are made to be incredibly comfortable.  Yes, I know there are bike shorts, I wear them and refuse photographs, but even those can allow for some discomfort after a while.  The next part of the plan was to head to Conesus Lake where we were planning on camping later in the summer.  Of course, I didn’t want to take a direct route, what fun would that be.

Honeoye Falls Road #6:  One of my favorite roads at the moment.  This is a nice rolling road that is fairly straight, has some nice ups and downs and finishes on River Road in Avon.  There are only two problems.  1.  There is a quarry which means dump trucks are going to pass you empty heading there and full heading back.  2.  The gun club.  There is nothing like riding along listening to the sounds of nature, wind, cars and rifle shots.  I always feel like I need to duck as I ride by.

East River Road, North Avenue and East Main (routes 5&20) puts me in Avon and heading back East.

Pole Bridge Road:  As soon as I turned on this road, I noticed a hill.  Well no problem right?  This is what I was supposed to do, ride hills.  Of course after cresting that hill, I found another.  Then another, another, and a few more appeared.  Passing farm land, clusters of houses, and trees, there is a certain peace that appears under your helmet.  You get in a rhythm as the pedals are pushed, your hands shift the gears, your bladder fills.  Okay, let’s skip that part.

Lakeville Road (20A), Big Tree Road:  sent me looking for the campground which I did not find.  After returning I saw on a map it was further south on the east side of the lake and I didn’t really feel like adding unneeded miles when I was worried about my water supply.

Bronson Hill Road:  There was nothing at the entrance to this road that noted if it was named after Charles, but I was questioning how they could really call it a road.  Bronson Path was being generous.  The shoulder was there, but it was filled with tractor tracks.  The road was surrounded on all sides by farmland, mostly corn, so most of the traffic is probably tractors.  The right side of the road had been patched and patched.  I felt like I was arriving in France on the Champs Elyses; sort of anyway, minus the cheering crowds and podium girls of course.  This was the beginning of the struggle for me.

You might experience The Wall.  I don’t think it is a foreign concept.  There is this point during a run, workout, workday, concert, ride, whatever where you hit a point and have a few choices.  You can struggle through until you get your second (or third or fourth wind), you can coast through to the end, or you can quit.  I couldn’t quit at this point, I just waited for my second wind, and waited, and waited, and waited.

East Avon Road:  not yet

Jenks Road:  nope

Gilbert Mills Road:  water bottle refill and natural break, but no

Honeoye Falls #6:  still not there

Five Points Road:  the deer jumping at the road side didn’t help

15A:  maybe?  Ok, no

251:  I don’t think it’s going to get here

Pinnacle:  Okay, let’s just hang on until we get home.

Two things happened in the last 2 miles.  I had gone 70 miles on my bike.  Had been gone from my house for over 5 hours and had only really stopped four times and ate while moving.  I hit a wall, but pushed through; all I need to do was get home.  Then I heard the thumping.  I looked down at my rear tire and noticed a bulge.  Two miles from home, I slowed down.  I think if I had let some air out of the tire, which might have helped.  Could this be the woodchuck hit from a few days earlier coming back to haunt me?


What?  Seriously?  I looked up to see a kid, probably high school aged with his head out the window of a black Infiniti SUV laughing as he and his friends passed me.  They laughed at their cleverness as they must have plotted ahead, hey, look, a cyclist, let’s shout something at him and make him flinch, won’t that be fun.  Yeah, yeah, and let’s shout something hilarious, something that will make all of us laugh.  Oh, and then let’s all go to the mall in daddy’s car and we can tell our friends how we made this guy jump.  We are so cool.  Obviously, I think these kids are idiots.


That was my rear tire.  A hole was blown right through the tire.  No patching for this, this tire was done.  Time to walk the rest of the way home, happy that it waited that long to go, and I only had to walk a mile in my own shoes.

All in all a decent day, tainted by two events: the tire I can replace, and the shouting I can chalk up to youthful idiocy.  To the idiots in the car, if you were curious if I have one, the answer is yes.  We all do.  They come in different sizes.  I’m guessing yours is rather small.


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