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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sunny Skies And Blown Tires..

A group of sparrows kept flying to and fro between the tree and the electrical wire on the road. They chirped incessantly as if they were exchanging intruder alerts and planning an attack to get the intruder off the premises. An army of snails already mounted an attack and slowly began to crawl up the giant creature that so blatantly occupied their turf. The message was loud and clear. “Get off our turf buddy. Or else..!”

Thankfully Rob, the savior, arrived with the rescue vehicle and saved me from an impending attack. I got up just in time from the grass under the shade of the tree and shook off the tiny snails (slugs?) off of my helmet. After a two blown tubes and a torn tire, it was time to hitch a ride on Rob’s car for the last couple of miles.


We changed the start of the ride to 8am from noon, foreseeing that it is going to be a hot day. That turned out to be a blessing. The morning breeze and the young sun offered a perfect ambience for the ride. The green fields bathed in the morning sunlight, was a treat to the eyes. The cool breeze offered comforting company and kept whispering sweet nothings for most of the ride.

We started from Richmond’s town center and rode towards Bristol. At the start was a little climb of about 600ft followed by a nice downhill sprint. That was followed by a nice rolling terrain until we approached Bristol where we faced a decent climb of nearly 1000ft. We crawled up the hill and were sprinting down the hill when I heard that awful sound followed by a bit of a butt shaking experience.

This was the first flat I had in Vermont. I got down quickly and started to fix the flat. After hearing from Pam and others who rode past me Rob rode back a mile uphill to help me. As we fixed the flat and inflated the tube, I noticed a tiny bubble of the tube protruding out through a tear in the tire near the rim. I was puzzled by the location of the tear. The tear appeared to be because of them being worn out rather than something cutting through.


The wear so near to the rims could only mean one thing. I checked the brakes. Bingo. The brake pads were a bit angled and were riding up past the rim and rubbing against the tire. The continuous braking on the downhill was the last thing the tire needed. We moved the brake pads lower so that they will rub just the rims and stay away from the tire. I started riding again and just hoped that the tiny bubble will keep from blowing up before we complete the last 15miles of the ride.

The tires (Kenda Cosmos 700x28c) are pretty good tires. They gave me more than 1300km in the two months. There is little wear in them but for the tear due to the brakes rubbing against them. I think they could have lasted for a long time if not for me overlooking such a simple thing.

Rob kept me company from that point so that if the tire was to blow up again, I could just wait by the road side while he could complete the ride and come back to pick me up in his car. The tire held up pretty well for another 12miles before blowing up just around 2miles away from the end of the ride. I just waited under the shade of a tree and waited for Rob to pick me up.

By the time we reached the starting point, Pam was ready with cold water melon. The delicious and cool water melon made my day. After I finished off all the slices, Jan and I put our bikes on the bike rack and headed home. Rob and Pam headed out for our usual ice cream joint.


Ride distance: 76.56km (47.57miles)
Elevation gain 3298ft elevation loss 2922ft
Avg: 19.7 kmph


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