Sunday September 3, 2006 Pete called
me to see if I was interested in an evening ride. He told me he and
his son Paul were going to go out for a short ride to try out Paul's new
bike. I didn't have to think long, I replied I was in and ready when
ever they were. The weather was nice as this day was coming to an
end, still warm enough to wear shorts. Plan was for Pete and Paul to
ride over and pick me up at my house. We just had to be careful and
not get too far away since it is getting darker much earlier this time of
Just a few minutes later Pete and
Paul pulled into my driveway where I was already outside sitting on my
bike waiting for them. I quickly checked out Paul's new bike which
is a very nice Trek mountain bike. It high quality, nice and solid.
I also noticed it had disc brakes both front and rear. From what
little I know about disc brakes I think this is an option I would like on
my next bike. I think the concept of disc brakes is a really good
idea. Like a lot of things these brakes add cost to a bike so you
have to weigh the advantage vs. the cost to determine if they are really
worth the extra investment. The nice thing about disc brakes is they
work better and are more reliable. Caliper brakes are a little more
finicky and difficult to keep working well. I will have to ask Paul
what he thinks of his brakes once he gets a few months of riding behind
him to get his opinion. Paul has been working at the golf course at
Oakland University (OU) for a couple years now and this new bike is
something Paul purchased for himself with his hard earned money.
Ironically we would end up at the location of Paul's job in the golf cart
building at OU later in this ride, more on that in a minute.
We decided to head over to OU and
ride around the campus. This is a close place where you can get a
good work out with some hills and mild trails. It is also fun to
ride past the mansion at Meadowbrook. We took a fairly direct route
to OU. Paul's bike seemed to be working well and we had a nice ride
to OU. After we got to the campus we rode around for a short while.
It was very quiet and deserted, we hardly saw anyone else as we pedaled
around campus. As Pete and I rode along the bike paths and winding
roads on campus Paul was jumping onto and off of curbs and grass.
Paul was having fun checking out the off road capability of his new bike.
At one point we were on high ground
and Pete was leading the way. We had taken this route many times
before heading toward the soccer dome. We cut across a grass area on
a fairly steep downhill toward a dirt path. I think Pete forgot who
got the new mountain bike because he was really going fast down this
grassy hill toward the dirt path. I started to ride my brakes to
slow down this grassy hill. You never know what you might run into
off road and it was starting to get dark so it was more difficult to see.
Pete didn't slow down at all, I think he may have subconsciously been
racing Paul down the hill. Pete almost made it to the flat area when
there was an extremely load popping noise. I immediately recognized
the noise to be that of a tire blow out. At first I wasn't sure what
Pete hit, but there was no mistaking that sound, he had a blow out with
his rear tire. As I rode further I saw a cement side walk cutting
right through the grassy area we were riding. Pete hit this sidewalk
going perpendicular to our travel and his rear tire must have slammed
right on the corner of the edge of the sidewalk causing the blowout.
We all came to a quick stop, Pete stopping a little faster than me and
Paul. Pete quickly assessed the situation finally realizing what had
happened. After his customary barrage of swearing at his bike, the
side walk and himself, Pete started walking pushing his bike along.
Paul and I couldn't help poking fun at Pete and laughing a little. I
figured this was a good time to get out my phone and take a couple
pictures of Pete walking next to his bike to help capture the moment.
Pete wasn't really in the mood to pose for any pictures, matter of fact I
had a hard time getting a picture of Pete without him making obscene
gestures in my direction. I will post all the pictures I took this
night at the bottom of this page.
Luckily Paul does work at the golf
course on this campus, so the plan was to head over to the golf cart
building where they have an air compressor. Normally I carry a small
hand pump in my burrito basket, but since I hadn't yet replace the broken
rack that holds my burrito basket I didn't have it with me. Pete had
a spare inner tube in his chili basket so we just needed some air.
We were both hoping he didn't damage the rim too much from the impact when
he slammed onto the cement corner.
It was a relatively long walk for
Pete to the golf cart building. Paul and I just rode slowly as we
proceeded along. Our average speed would definitely be low on this
ride due to the amount of time we spent going slow as Pete walked.
By the time we got to the golf cart building it was really getting dark,
no question we would be riding home in the dark once Pete got the tire
repaired. There were still a few people working at the golf cart
building washing and putting carts away from the day's golfing activities.
Unfortunately for Paul one of his bosses was there and he wasn't in a very
good mood, he was down right nasty if you ask me. Paul ended up
working, helping clean golf carts while Pete and I fixed his bike. I
really didn't do much other than help hold the rim while Pete pulled the
tire off the rim to get the bad tube out. There was a large cut in
the tube from the blow out, this tube was not repairable. We
inspected the rim and found it had a nice dent at the point of impact.
We weren't sure if the tire would mount on the rim and work properly after
putting it back together. All we could do was reinstall everything
and then pump in the air and hope. Luckily for Pete it held air fine
and appeared as though it was going to work, at least good enough to get
him home. The tire had a new wobble, but overall not too bad
considering the circumstances. Pete had just recently gotten this
wheel rebalanced at the bike shop, oh well it certainly wasn't balanced
any more. After a minor adjustment to the rear brake to compensate
for the out of round wheel we were ready to start riding again.
Now it was really dark. I
turned on the light up spoke reflectors my mother got me for Christmas a
couple years ago, a great gift. You really can't go wrong buying a
biker accessories as gifts, especially cool type gadgets like spoke
reflectors that light up. I also turned on my headlight so I could
see the the bike path in front of me for the ride home. The ride
home was pleasant, we went a little slower than normal due to the
darkness, but overall a very enjoyable ride. I'm not sure Pete would
agree with me while he was walking or changing his tire, but his mood
improved after he got the flat fixed.
Following are the statistics from the ride, 10.8 miles
total, 28.0 max mph, 1 hour and 2 minutes time on bikes and 8.8 average