So, this week has been rough going. There are some rumblings around my office that our company is about to be acquired. The uncertainty that this creates just makes everything a little nerve-wracking, especially with me being the primary breadwinner in the family right now. Add to that the fact that I’m transitioning back to a regular training schedule, it’s just been a tough week. I managed to put together a plan for my last big race and even got some workouts in, but everything feels “off.” The final straw was motivating myself to go swim on Friday evening, only to be greeted by a swim meet that meant no lap swim hours at the pool. Boo!

But yesterday morning, it was back in the saddle and over to the east side of Lake Washington for some nice country road riding. T & I are doing a metric century next weekend (that’s 63 miles for the non-metric folk) and I wanted to get a longer ride in to prepare for it. I’d plotted out a lovely 50 mile route for T and I, with M leaving from the same place but doing a shorter 30 mile route on the multi-use paths. It was a lovely day and everyone was in high spirits as we set out:

After riding a brief warm-up with M to show her our proposed post-ride meeting spot, we parted ways. No more than ten minutes after we started riding, I hear this loud noise behind me. T had blown a tire. It was the first time I’d ever been so close to a blow-out and I was surprised by how loud it was. Luckily, T is an expert tire changer so he settled in to start fixing it while I texted M and took his photo to amuse myself:

While I was waiting I noticed this sign:

Very suspicious. T has a blow out right next to a glass place… Clever viral marketing campaign or coincidence, you decide!

But T had the tire fixed pretty quickly and we were back on the road. Despite having a cue sheet and checking it a number of times, I still managed to get us lost and we ended up dead-ending into a road that I knew to have a crazy steep, twisty descent on crappy pavement with lots of traffic but would take us down to the road that would get us back on course. I told T about it and was treated to his “I’m sure *you* think it’s bad, but it’s probably fine” expression.

The descent was every bit as bad as I remembered and as I made the final sharp right off of it and onto the course once again, I hear my name being shouted by T and pulled over to see him gesture that he’d gotten ANOTHER flat. I gave him my spare tube (the last one we had with us) and we crossed the street to a shady spot for him to change it. I shared my handy tip about patching a tire with a dollar bill or gel wrapper, that I’d gleaned from the internet. And again, I amused myself by taking pictures:

At least the scenery was pretty!

I was also vindicated by T admitting that the hill we’d just descended was really scary. (And admitting that he’d thought exactly what I said above.) Woo! 😉 So, at this point, we have no spare tubes and are in the middle of nowhere. We have the option of riding to another road to climb back to the meeting sport or head out to Carnation on the flat roads and have M pick us up there. The advantage of the second plan is that we were closer to Carnation and on flatter roads, so we had less time on the road with our current luck, so that’s what we decided to do.

We made it back on course eventually and had a pretty nice ride, all things considered. We saw a group of fancy sports cars speeding down the road toward us, which was pretty cool. It was fun to ride with T and have someone to enjoy the scenery with and we ended up getting 32 miles done in 2 hours, which I’m happy with. We called M from the road and agreed to meet up in at the Starbucks in Carnation. While we were waiting for her, we saw this spectacle. You know you’re in the country when…

Hopefully, this week will go better. Fingers crossed!


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