Sunday, November 29, 2009

Basing with Pre-Punctured Tubes

So I may have been a little slack in putting up blogs lately, and my hard drive is growing full of ‘started’ blog entries. But my training has not been like this and neither has my races. It is a quite time of the year for racing and training. Facing up to hours of mindless base training miles interrupted by the odd club race.

After an excellent run of good thousand k’s with no punctures thanks to mostly blind and the odd bit of sighted luck, I have had a flurry. Of course I prepare for these incidences by carrying a pre-punctured tube to give the delusion that I can finish my ride from this point. So I stop and waste a good ten minutes putting the new tube in the trying and failing to get it to inflate. Then I give up and have a nut bar while I conceive a plan to get but the place of warm showers, food and a change of clothes.

The first of these recent incidents occurred while throwing my bike along a mountain road. After the obligatory failings of tube replacement therapy I was in a pickle. 30km from shower etc and no coverage for my mobile making an SOS difficult at best. Lucky nearby was the home of friend of mine secluded in the native bush. After interrupting with drumming session I call around people who I thought might like a drive out of town on a Sunday. A training buddy came though and came out to collect me and my stricken steed.

The second of these convent happening was in the mighty centre of Inglewood. An almost unavoidable point on any good ride in these parts. The tube replacement performance this time had an audience of anyone trying to get around the centre of town. This time no one I call was immediately available. So I did what I have always done when shit goes down on the road, hitchhike. Which is easy than you think with a bike. People see that you’re in serious need of a ride, probably have a bad day and wanting to be in a different location. Thanks to a nice woman I got back quickly no trouble.

So days slip by in the routine of base train and unemployment. Now it seems like my job for now at least. It might as well be with nothing to waste my time with. So until I sink into the depths of employment I consider myself a full time cyclist, if a broke one. The events in the coming year demand that I build up my base even higher than before not only because of the natural progression of training but also there are some whoppers in there. At least two events on the table are multi day and will test my metal beyond the 24 hour mark.

One of these whoppers is the Kiwi Brevet. Starting from Blenheim and taking in a full tour of the northern half of the North Island while staying off road for about half the time. Self-sufficiency is the name of the game for the 1200km of spectacular south island scenery. I plan on ride a modified version of my Niner Sir fitted with my Rohloff hub. I have all the necessary gear left over from my cycle touring a couple of years back. Can’t wait to get on the start line, so much so that my name was on the confirmed starters list before I had even confirmed my interest.