Size Does Matter

Posted: June 2, 2013 in COPD, Cycling, training, Travel
Tags: , , , , ,

Sometimes, you can go too large. I found this out today, to my cost. Those reading my recent entries will no doubt smile (again) at the number of punctures I recently endured. Well yesterday I found the cause: there was a nick in the side of my Continental Four Season Tyre which just large enough to let the tube squeeze into and subsequently burst. Pleased with my discovery (I was beginning to think the rim itself was at fault) I changed the tyre. The only spare useable tyre was a tyre labelled as an All Conditions Armadilo 700 x 25mm. Well, I’m sure I run 25 mm tyres before on the Colnago so on went the tyre. Pumping the tyre up to 120 psi I was so pleased to note that nothing burst and the tyre stayed hard I put my trusty steed away for the night all ready for the next day’s ride.

Morning came, and route all mapped out off I went tot he Hungerford Library Car Park to meet up with Charles before setting off on our epic route. After about half a mile, we meet our first climb, a climb I always find tough but today was particularly tough and I remember thinking just how am I going to get through today if I struggle like this at the first hill. Anyway, hill conquered, on we went, down hill and having to pedal: Surely I can be this bad I thought. During the next couple of miles, on I struggled as cyclist by the dozen (I may be exaggerating the numbers) flew past me most likely who was the fat wheezer on the Colnago: well, if any of those cyclists are reading this, you now know the answer, it was me.

Turning left in Little Bedwyn we went uphill past The Harrow [too early for a refreshment stop and they’re shut on Sundays anyway :-(] and ran out of gears with the first 100 yards. Eventually I stopped and checked the bike out. I’m used to struggling for the first five miles of any ride (COPD seems to do this), but this was ridiculous. It was then that I found out that the new tyre on the rear was just a little bit too wide and any strain on the pedals was pulling the wheel just enough to pull the tyre against the rear stay thereby providing me with a third brake that I really didn’t want or need. I released the wheel, reset it and off we went again. Onwards we climbed and still the tyre rubbed. But, after last week having three false starts I was determined not to stop and kept going. Actually it was probably quite good as it was like resistance training: every mile was equal to two as a consequence.

Inevitably however, I had to cave in. If I’d continued the tyre would have been reduced from 25 to 23 mm and with it would come the risk of a blowout and I real didn’t fancy too long a walk home. Also, all the rubbing can’t have been doing my frame any good at all. And so after just 15 miles, we head back into the comforting arms of The Downgate, open by now for a quick top up of fluids before going home in a big sulk.

So, my 58 miles became 15 but being home earlier than planned did mean that I could order some new tyres before tackling any chores in the garden.

Maybe I’ll get out later in the day on the De Rosa.

Slow Podge, Slow

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