Yesterday started out with a nice flop in the moming and a some cross-training session to augment 'no running'. After a good breakfast - the best by far (eggs, sesame seeds, greens, pepper, salsa, few grapes), Chuckie and I headed out towards Flagstaff Mountain. It is a climb here in Boulder that's about 6miles up to its first summit with gradient ranges up to 15% and a total of 2,300 vertical feet. It was big gear day with the main workout being 4 sets of (3min seated in the aero-bar position; 3min seated normally; and 3min standing).
We started on the bike path for a warm-up and after 45minutes of riding, Chuckie suffered a flat. Mishaps happen, but with Chuckie they seem to happen more often than not. I never really believed him at first when he said he gets more flats than anyone (he is cursed), but he really does. Then again, he tends to ride more than anyone else.
Flats seem to come in waves. We started up again and missed out on some solid warm-up time because of the stop. Chuckie had me do my Tabata sprints on the bike (these are tough!). Tabata sprints are 20 second all out sprints with 10 seconds rest, repeated 8-times. The goal is to get as high as wattage as you can (which usually happens in the first two sprints).
Shortly after these and a quick recovery, and before starting the big gear work, Chuckie had another flat. I was just in the middle of one of the 3min intervals, so, like a good coach would, Chuckie told me to keep going. And like a good athlete who listens to her coach, I did. Unfortunately, I guess what he said was out of panic at first and me, not really paying attention to the situation , continued climbing up the hill (I do have to say - I was just doing what I he told me to do!) So I continued on my merrily way, enjoying the views, the climb and the sun rays. It is a great climb...but not so great when you have to descend and see your coach on the sidelines...just a bit perturbed at you.
When I descended down I was surprised I didn't meet him yet. Then, I started thinking, "$#&%! I screwed up." I should have turned back and checked on him. I try to listen and do what he says so I just did that and didn't really use much common sense. Sorry Chuckie! Honestly, it sucked when I saw him sitting in the shade (a small area at that) and I felt like crap. I wanted to come down and say how good the climbing was but....it was not the place, nor the time. :( He used all his spares and was 'spare-less' (a bit scary...).
I attempted to help the best way I knew how...basically, letting Chuckie vent and giving him some food. :) We took out my spare but unfortunately, it was a small valve stem and wouldn't work...and to make matters worse, it had a hole in it. I never get flats (knock on wood!) so I never really paid much attention before this mishap.
So, we were about 2 miles up the hill with no spare to fix his flat. We tried attempting taking my tube off my bike for the long valve stem and to exchange with my short-stemmed spare. Of course, with a hole in the spare - this didn't help matters. Chuckie however, managed to "pull a McGyver," as he called it, and knotted the one of the flats so we could get down the hill - S-L-O-W-L-Y. Luckily, Jenni Keil (an athlete who rocks and is also coached by Chuckie), saved the day and picked us up. In the end, I got a great hill climbing workout in, and Chuckie, well, got a good butt workout - sitting on it for an hour!
1. Carry at least two spare tires (with no holes) with you and a pump.
2. Always double check with Chuckie (or anyone for that matter) before leaving them. (I feel really bad I left - sorry Chuckie).
3. If you are ever stuck somewhere with no spares - tie a knot in your tube and see if it will hold air to help you get home.
4. It is important to have a cell phone or someway to contact someone on a ride (I need a phone I think - they are just crazy expensive).
5. Chuckie, in all honesty, is a GREAT coach (this one I already knew though) because he forgave me after his rant and asked how my ride was :), and gave me some spare tubes for my bike!
Thanks Chuckie and Jenni! I owe you both.