Today was a doozy. We had a 5 hour ride in Boulder planned and it was a mellow ride for me, my last recoveryish day after the 1/2 IM this past weekend. There was 30 minutes of strength tempo work to be had, but mostly a time in the seat ride.

Several days ago I wrote this:

I have 26 important days until Kona, and I know that any mistake I make will be punishable by the island gods.

Why oh why don’t I listen to myself?

A little background: We have tubeless clincher tires on all three of Troy and I’s bikes. They are pricey ($60), but for several years (up until the last few months) we have been flat-free. You have to carry a spare “tire” instead of just a tube, but it’s seemed worth it. Three bikes, 6 tires, 3 spares…pricy. Well, I had a super huge flat the other day where I ran over a beer bottle and shredded my tire. When putting on my space I broke the valve stem off and had to call my MIL to pick me up. AND SO because nobody carries these special tires I ended up purchasing two normal tires with tubes for my training wheels on my TT bike at Excel Sports so that I could resume training that evening.

I had a friend ask to borrow a wheel the other day and I gave him my front wheel off my TT bike because it matched the one he wrecked. Totally my choice and I was happy to help my friend out. Little did I know this would be the beginning of a long chain of events.

So I pulled off my front wheel from my road bike and threw that on the TT bike. Now I am in a strange predicament. I have one tubeless tire that requires me to carry a spare TIRE, and one normal tire which requires me to carry a tube. I rode yesterday on it for 1:45, I didn’t flat, but my pockets were full of tubes/tires.

This morning when I’m grabbing my bike from the garage I notice the front wheel is very low on air. Humm, must have a leak, but maybe not much. I am rushed as I just found out this issue and PIC is picking me up any moment so I grab a spare tubeless tire and throw it in.

We get to Boulder and here’s how it goes:

– Discover huge leak in tubeless tire that is on my front wheel
– Change tire to spare tire (so now I have no spare for a front flat)
– Make everyone late to meet a friend we are riding with
– Very flustered
– Get reminder from coach about making good choices for Kona (like not loaning out a wheel that I needed)
– Ride over to Left Hand Canyon
– Reach down to grab water…realize I left without bottles (we are 45 min from Boulder)
– Chuckie gives me one of his bottles, I feel lame
– Get out of the saddle to climb and feel that the front tire is squishy
– Realize front tire is flat
– Try to call friends, no cell coverage
– Leave group, tell them, “I need to fix this, I will be back”
– Descend on flat front tire, ride 45 min to North Boulder bike shop
– Don’t have form of payment on me, so Troy texts me the CC number and expiration
– Purchase new tire to match the back and 2 more tubes…just in case
– Put new tire and tube on, pump up, hear Pshhhhhh sound
– Shop guy comes over, we realize together that there is no RIM TAPE on this wheel. It’s always had the tubeless tires on it, I never realized…whoever I bought it from decided rim tape didn’t need to happen.
– Shop guy put on rim tape
– Change to second tube and attempt pumping up tire
– everything holds and is good.
– Use texted CC # to purchase two new waterbottles, two Luna Bars (my treat for going through he!!), another spare tube, and some hot pink tire helper getter outey thingees (you know what I mean)
– Ride back to Left Hand Canyon
– Start riding up and wonder if I missed Chuckie and PIC and they are on the flats
– Climb climb climb, find Chuckie and PIC
– Get in tempo work
– Ride back wondering what the #$!*$#^@ is wrong with my tire luck.
– Get the “focus” email from Chuckie

Yes, the whole day today I was like “I’m a rolling blog post”. I was making so so so many rookie mistakes. From not taking care of my tire business, to loaning out something I needed, to forgetting my bottles, to not knowing I didn’t have rim tape on my rim, and finally letting myself get flustered.

This is not a “tragic” day, it’s one that I created with the decisions I made. I have to have more focus for the next few weeks and I need to make the right decisions because the wrong ones tend to start chain reactions and like I said, will only be punishable by the island gods.

And with that, I am off to bed.

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  1. things tend to domino – it’s all in how you handle it, and it sounds like you got it taken care of.

    Do you run sealant in your tubeless tires (stans, caffletx, ..)? a couple ounces in weight can go a long ways to preventing flats (I use some in all of my non-racing setups, tubes or not).
    Also – I haven’t messed with road tubeless, but with my mtn bike tubeless, I can use an innertube if the tire gets a hole that the sealant won’t plug. Just break the bead of the tire, pull the valve stem out of the rim, insert innertube, fill up and go. If it’s a big hole in the tire, I’ll “boot” the tire with receipts etc or I usually carry some stick on park tools tire boots as well.

    just some thoughts to help keep fixing time down and training time up…

  2. To be honest, I stopped paying attention to this blog post after “We had a 5 hour ride in Boulder planned and it was a mellow ride for me” because it dawned on me that your “mellow” ride is my VO2 Max.

    I went with the clinchers for my Zipp wheels because I actually know how to change a tube flat and I certainly am not worried about a few extra ounces on the bike.

    Thanks for sharing!


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