02/09/06

Location =  Foothills Trails  
Distance =  4.71
Time =  40:04
Ave. Speed =  7.0
Max. Speed =  27.0
Monthly Dist. =    92.3
Yearly Dist. =  265.03

I was really looking forward to going for a nice evening/night ride. It was a rare overcast afternoon, and the clouds were acting like a blanket, keeping the warm air near the ground. Temps were in the 50s, and I was overheating a little bit, as I went up the short steeps. Unfortunately, before I could make it up the last one, I felt my bike start to wobble, and I was losing air from my rear tire. This was very frustrating, because I just put a tire liner in it, a few days ago. I walked up the rest of the way, and sat down by the water tank to add some air.

An interesting thing that I have learned is that, just because you have a flat tire, does not necessarily mean that you must change out the tube. I ride with slime tubes, which will self seal most small holes. I usually pull out any thorns that I see, otherwise they may wiggle around, and continue to leak.

As I sat on the ground, adding air to my tire, a hiker came up out of the gully, and his dog ran at me growling. I yelled at him "NO", and he backed off. The owner said that "I scared the dog". I wonder how I did that?

I finished pumping up the tire, but my spirit for this ride was gone, and so I rode over to the trail that goes back to Bighorn, and went home. Is it a ride, if I don't even make it 5 miles?

Yes.


02/10/06

Location =  Foothills Trails  
Distance =  15.54
Time =  1:59:00
Ave. Speed =  7.8
Max. Speed =  30.5
Monthly Dist. =    107.84
Yearly Dist. =  280.57


It was another nice afternoon, and I really wanted to have an enjoyable ride, especially after yesterday's fiasco. I went my usual route, and climbed up the short steeps. I made the turn after the third one, and began heading up the fourth and final little climb, when I heard a lady start calling after her dog. She called a few more times, and I looked over my shoulder, but I didn't see anything, so I continued toward the steepest part. All of a sudden, a fat, short legged bulldog pulled up alongside of me, and began harassing me in a threatening way. I yelled at him, but he came within striking distance, and I was forced to dismount and take defensive action. I threw a couple of handfuls of dirt at him, to back him off until his owner could get him. I read her the riot act about, that's why there is a leash law, and if you can't control your dog, keep it on a leash! It's people like that give dog owners a bad name.

I continued down the trail, but didn't get very far, when I got that wobbly feeling again. I thought it was my rear tire, failing to hold air in it's slime sealed self, but this time it was my front tire. I walked off the trail into an arroyo, and sat in the sand behind a rock, so the lady and her dog wouldn't see me. I added air to my tire, and as I did, I could hear it hissing out from several places. I slowly rotated the tire so that the slime could reach all of the holes, and it seemed to work. I was determined to get this ride in, so I hit the pedals, and headed down the trail.

I almost made it to the Embudito parking lot, when my front tire went flat again. I walked the rest of the way to the trailhead, and sat down on a curb to add more air. I was tempted to just call home for a ride, but I forgot my cell phone. I filled the tire again, and then decided to not go back through the park, so I rode down to Tramway, and went home on the pavement.

Near the end of the ride on the trails, a little rat darted out in front of my bicycle. That happens fairly often, and they usually, disappear into the brush on the other side of the trail. This one made the mistake of looking at me, and when he did, my headlight blinded him, and he was frozen in place. He was a cute rat, but at the same time, distasteful. There must be some kind of an innate human dislike of the little critters.

The evening started out warm and toasty, in the 50s, but the temps dropped 15 degrees in 30 minutes, and the wind picked up, making it tougher going.


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