i met a small group from my bike club at a local shop and we headed out to ride the local version of the Paris-Roubaix ride. the P-R is famous for stretches of cobblestones that the racers have to navigate.
the Eugene-Roubaix features a 1 1/2 mile stretch of gravel. heading out i thought that won’t be so difficult, i’d rather gravel than bone jarring cobblestones.
we rode out into some beautiful farmlands. i did my best to keep up with some very strong riders but most often found myself at the back of the pack. we came around a bend and i recognized a bird watching site that barb and i had visited when we first moved to town. i swallowed hard and kept pedaling. there are so many reminders out there.
we soon came upon the gravel stretch, beckoning us with the clouds of dust raised by the cars coming towards us. i was at the back of course but close to the others. this wasn’t a wise move as i couldn’t see ahead to dodge the potholes and larger stones. the sudden hiss wasn’t a rattlesnake. i flatted out a 1/4 mile in and the rest of the group became a distant speck very quickly.
i changed out the tube and was back on the road. at about the one mile mark the road turned from bumpy potholes hardpack to soft rockfilled not hard pack. that took a bit of careful maneuvering to not come to a sudden soggy stop and fall over.
a couple of riders came back and met me. they had no idea i’d flatted out and thought i’d turned back to not risk my nice bike. they were impressed with the speed of my flat change.
i declined going for a second lap of the route and some of us split off and took the long way home. it turned out to be a 45 mile ride. i got on my townie when i got home and hit the post office. i also rode to cheer on my soccer teammates later in the evening. i’m sitting out until i determine the extent of this hamstring strain.
i figured it was a 55 mile day altogether. maybe i’ll just ride down the block tomorrow. probably not-