It was an absolutely beautiful day, temperatures were supposed to range from 50s to 80 in Fairfax. It was all blue sky and warm light (not warm) just the light was beautiful when I left my house at 6am. I rode with a fellow to the bridge who was up early to ride Hawk Hill before his newborn woke up. It was nice having a chat before even starting the main event.
I was relaxed, got to see and meet everyone at the start, people were happy. I started out strong, I felt quick and nimble, got to chat with some folks along the way.
I was on Sir Francis Drake and was looking forward to riding the bike path in Samuel P Taylor, when I thought that I had picked up a tree branch from the sound of it. Turns out it was an unfriendly staple. I got out my kit and got my shit in order and even had some company from Alfie and Lisa while I changed the flat.
This is where the trouble began. Piecing it all together I think this is what happened: I don't think I seated the wheel properly in the dropouts. (I think this happened because when I was on flat number 2-4 I had to push harder than I thought to get the wheel seated on one side, it's like the dropout was narrower on that side.) I left the back brake unconnected. I realized the brake problem after I started out following Alfie and Lisa on the tandem.
I knew that I wanted to turn into the path so I figured that I would stop there and reconnect it.
I made a couple of mistakes. I think I should have communicated more clearly to them that I was turning onto the path. I also think that I should have taken more time checking things after the flat. When I reconnected the brake, I didn't check its position. It must have rubbed the tired until bang, flat number two.
I wasn't too far into the path. I changed it again, patching my second tube and reusing it. Another flat. This time I noticed the slices in the tire. I panicked until I remembered Ian at Box Dog gave me a sticker boot. I'm pretty sure that I noticed the two slices at this point and booted it with the sticker AND a $5 bill. That was change number 3. I might have called Bill at this point for reassurance. Keeping an eye on the time, it was getting close to not being able to make the first control time and I was thinking through my options.
It gets a little hazy at this point through the lens of frustration. At some point I decided to walk back out towards the road, and the swimming hole. Some folks had come to play in the swimming hole and it was more appealing than wallowing in the mire of my frustrated and annoyed brain and body.
I think I attempted two more changes on the side of the road. I have to say a bunch of well meaning and friendly folks came by and asked me if I was ok. Being a resourceful Randonneur I thought I was...ok.
I parked the bike at one point and walked down to the watering hole and chatted up the peeps and hung out with the dogs. At the point when I decided I was done, I called the SFR hotline, or at least I thought it was the SFR hotline and DNF'd. Sigh. Texted some folks who live closed by. Babycakes was making arrangements for cars from SF.
In the end, Jimmy, Christina and Bella the pup ended up rescuing me and delivering me home and we got to spend time with them, which was really really nice. Thanks everyone for all the help.
Double check your repairs.
Spare tires. This is why people bring them.
Missing out on the fun never feels any better than it did as a kid. Still brings depressed feelings and embarrassment.
Expectations are a bitch. This was not to be another ALC.
I can sit with the discomfort, it will pass.