Saturday’s Club Ride was full of adventures.

LB got a flat just out of Linden. He was at the back and only Dorothy waited. I was ahead and didn’t see it, but I backtracked 1 mile to check on him, then I got in front to pull them both towards the regroup at Escalon Belota Road.

As we rode along LB remarked that this was only his 2nd flat this year. Saying something like that risks angering the flat gods. Sure enough, he got another one just east of the Scott’s plant. Actually it was a continuation of the first flat, since he couldn’t find the culprit when he did the first fix. He was out of tubes. I offered him mine, but he opted to call his spouse for an emergency pick up. They live in Linden so it wasn’t much of a drive for her.

When I got back to the group we headed off to Sheldon Road and the battle of the rollers. The Vet, Doctor Rose, C2K and Russ were in aggressive uphill mode, and I decided to play too. I got to the top of the Sheldon hill first. There were a few more of those ‘not a race’ uphill races until we reached Ospital Road. So I got in some really good anaerobic efforts for the first time in a long time.

We crossed Hwy 26, climbed the big hill at the start of Wimer Road, and regrouped at the top. I was the last one to restart, still trying to recover from those anaerobic exertions. So I could clearly see the three dogs go after the other riders up ahead. Lots of yelling, barking and swerving. I stopped well back to try to avoid the trouble.

Our group managed to get by without any bites or crashes. But now I have to get past the three hounds on my own. The dogs disappeared and I started trying to walk past them quietly, but they heard me and came out looking for trouble. I put my bike between me and them, water bottle at the ready. I yelled ‘go home’, loud, hoping the owner would come out and call them off. That didn’t happen.

I think I was there about 10 minutes before the canines finally lost interest long enough for me to get on my bike and ride past them. Lyle and Russ rode back to check on me, which I appreciated.

You would think that was enough excitement for one ride. But I was pedaling with Dorothy (Ms. 11,000 miles and counting) as we came into Linden, the last two riders on the road. At Flood Road and Hwy 26, she turned left onto the Highway, which is safe, but I like to ride straight past the old Diamond Walnut receiving station. My dad and I delivered a lot of walnuts there back in the day and I get nostalgic.

I should have turned. Suddenly the bike starts to shake and I’m pretty sure my rear wheel has fallen apart, but when I stopped I quickly found the trouble.


My brand new tubeless tire suffered a major puncture. The nail was through the casing and sticking out making a right angle with the tire. The sealant which stops goathead pinpricks so well was no match for this gaping hole. I was only a couple of hundred yards from my car parked at Orlando’s, so rather than repair the flat on the road or call one of the other riders for help, I decided to hoof it. Cycling shoes are not designed for walking, and today I have some soreness in my legs from the unusual gait required.

Today I tried to fix the hole with a plug and more sealant, but I’m afraid the damage is too great. A rear tire should be good for around 2,000 miles, and this one only managed 100 before meeting its fate. It didn’t even make it past the one week mark.

In 2020, a brand new tire ruined is not such a big deal. But irritating none the less. Why couldn’t I encounter that nail 10 days ago when I had an old and worn out tire on? Because it is 2020, that’s why! Nothing is allowed to go right this year.

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