Sunday, June 29, 2014

Buckeye Bridge Ride

Yesterday was the Buckeye Bridge Ride in Preble County, Ohio.  This was my third year riding this organized ride supporting Preble County 4-H.  It's one of my favorite rides because they put a lot of effort into effectively marking the entire route so that it is easy to follow.  They also provide a perfect number of SAG stops with food and water refills.

I camped at the Preble County Fairgrounds Friday night so that I wouldn't have to get up too early on Saturday morning.  I was up and registered by 6:30 AM and on the road by 6:45 AM.  The weather was cool with extremely high humidity, which made it sticky right from the start and more sticky as it warmed up.  There was practically no wind, so that was one less challenge for the ride.  With all the humidity, I found myself drinking almost 48 ounces of water every 15-20 miles.

We passed the first two bridges before the first SAG stop.  I love seeing all the bridges and especially all the countryside down there.



The first SAG stop offered water, Gatorade, several kinds of granola and cereal bars, and fruit.  I ate my first NuGo Stronger bar to keep me properly fueled.  Last weekend, I hit about 50-55 miles and ran out of energy.  I didn't want to do that again this week.  Shortly after the SAG stop, we arrived at the third bridge.


Somewhere around mile 21-23, we had a fairly long downhill and after reaching almost 30 miles per hour on the way down, I heard a strange sound that I hadn't heard before on my bike.  I looked down between my legs and saw that my rear tire had gone flat.  I'm thankful that I was able to make it down the hill safely.  I have no idea at what point going down the hill that the tire went flat.  I stopped and flipped the bike over checking for punctures.  I didn't find any punctures, so I decided to try re-inflating the tire.  I've never tried CO2 cartridges for inflating a tire, so all I had was a hand pump mounted on my frame.  I was able to get the tire up to about 90PSI and decided to ride for a bit and see how it went.  

By the time I arrived at the next SAG stop, around mile 27-28, the tire was very low again.  I decided I would be better to change the tube rather than trying to inflate the old one again.  Thankfully, I had seen a tire changed once and changed one myself in the kitchen one time before.  It took me about 10 minutes to get everything changed and at least 10 minutes to inflate the new tube as much as I could using my hand pump.  I think it's time to get a CO2 cartridge and learn how to use it.


That SAG stop is at the bottom of the hill at Hueston Woods State Park.  The bad thing is that after entering the park downhill, you have to climb that hill back out.  Thankfully, the tire and tube held out for the remainder of the ride.  About another 20 miles in and I started feeling light rain.  I checked the radar on my phone and decided it would be best at my pace to complete the shorter route rather than attempt the 89 mile route.  I didn't want to get soaked if it started raining harder.  There were and additional two bridges and two SAG stops and the rest of the ride was rather uneventful, thankfully.  



I completed the 64 mile route in just over 4 hours (plus stops, including replacing a tube).  My average speed was 15 miles per hour and I was pretty pleased with that considering all the climbing I did.  There are considerably more hills in Southwestern Ohio compared to Northwest Ohio where I do a majority of my riding.  I look forward to riding this ride again next year.  In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out if there is a way to squeeze in the Ohio to Erie trail by bike in July.  Then, at the beginning of August, I'm registered to ride the Amishland and Lakes ride in Northern Indiana.
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2 comments:

Lexiquin said...

I love covered bridges--thanks for sharing the great pics!

Fawn Nole said...

Great pictures!
I need to learn how to change a tire! I know all of the details of riding will come in time.
Glad everything went well besides the flat!