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aborted bike ride
Old 03-26-2009, 10:37 AM   #1
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aborted bike ride

I decided to try Amtrak's roll-on/off bicycle program this week, where you can just roll your bike onto certain trains with no box, hang it on a bike hook, then roll it back off at your destination. Not only do you not have to coordinate getting a bike box, but you can debark at smaller stations that have no baggage handling.

I rode the train from LAX to Grover Beach Monday, got off at dusk and rode a mile to the Pismo Beach Motel 6. It was as easy as it was supposed to be. I was anticipating a nice 3 day ride home.

Next morning I rode to Buellton on H1 / H135 / H101 in perfect weather, checked into the Motel 6, showered, then went wine tasting utilizing the local bus to Los Olivos. Tasting rooms are very uncrowded on mid-week afternoons.

Wednesday I rode H101 down to the ocean, then east towards Santa Barbara. After 25 miles, I had a blowout. I changed out the tube, "dollar-bill" patched the tire, and tried to pump it up. My pump was blown - I could get maybe 25 lbs of pressure, nowhere near enough to ride on.

So, I start walking along H101. After 5 miles and almost 2 hours, I got the idea that the problem might be my new tube, not my pump. I swap in my other tube and manage to pump it up to about 30 lbs by pumping as fast as I could - not really enough to ride on, but enough to try. I manage to ride 5 miles before the tube and tire blow, destroying both, but at least I was off the freeway. I walked the last 4 miles to the Goleta Amtrak station, and successfully tested the bike roll-on program again.

So, 1.3 days of riding instead of 3, but it is nice to know I can still walk 9 miles if I have to.
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:44 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyclingInvestor View Post
I decided to try Amtrak's roll-on/off bicycle program this week, where you can just roll your bike onto certain trains with no box, hang it on a bike hook, then roll it back off at your destination. Not only do you not have to coordinate getting a bike box, but you can debark at smaller stations that have no baggage handling.

I rode the train from LAX to Grover Beach Monday, got off at dusk and rode a mile to the Pismo Beach Motel 6. It was as easy as it was supposed to be. I was anticipating a nice 3 day ride home.

Next morning I rode to Buellton on H1 / H135 / H101 in perfect weather, checked into the Motel 6, showered, then went wine tasting utilizing the local bus to Los Olivos. Tasting rooms are very uncrowded on mid-week afternoons.

Wednesday I rode H101 down to the ocean, then east towards Santa Barbara. After 25 miles, I had a blowout. I changed out the tube, "dollar-bill" patched the tire, and tried to pump it up. My pump was blown - I could get maybe 25 lbs of pressure, nowhere near enough to ride on.

So, I start walking along H101. After 5 miles and almost 2 hours, I got the idea that the problem might be my new tube, not my pump. I swap in my other tube and manage to pump it up to about 30 lbs by pumping as fast as I could - not really enough to ride on, but enough to try. I manage to ride 5 miles before the tube and tire blow, destroying both, but at least I was off the freeway. I walked the last 4 miles to the Goleta Amtrak station, and successfully tested the bike roll-on program again.

So, 1.3 days of riding instead of 3, but it is nice to know I can still walk 9 miles if I have to.
How much does your bike weigh? Are you using very thin tires?

Frustrating ride but in the California sun not too bad.

Ha
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Old 03-26-2009, 10:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by CyclingInvestor View Post
Wednesday I rode H101 down to the ocean, then east towards Santa Barbara. After 25 miles, I had a blowout. I changed out the tube, "dollar-bill" patched the tire, and tried to pump it up. My pump was blown - I could get maybe 25 lbs of pressure, nowhere near enough to ride on.
.
Tubes are not the place to save weight. Road or mountain biking - I carry an extra tube. I also use CO2 cartridges for the road bike; pump for the mountain bike.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:58 AM   #4
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I use heavy tires and tubes. 38mm on back, 35mm on front currently (hybrid bike). Because of my size I always buy for strength, never for lightness. On any longer ride I would carry an extra tire and mini-pump. This is not the first time this has happened to me. About a decade ago I got to walk 8 miles thru the desert in the summer into Barstow after my pump blew out.
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:43 PM   #5
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What type of pump do you have? I had a mini pump for years. Then I switched to a full-size Zefal and never looked back.
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Old 03-26-2009, 01:18 PM   #6
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I've been relatively happy with my Road Morph:

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Old 03-26-2009, 02:40 PM   #7
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Al,
that looks like a large pump.
On my road bike, I carry,
extra tube
CO2 for inflation - 2 cartridges
patch kit
Valve stem attachment - presta to shrader or the other way around - I forgot- allows the use of gas station air pumps

For mountain bike I swap out the CO2 for a 9" hand pump
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:40 PM   #8
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I like the idea of the CO2 cartridges, but for the expense: the cartridges are $1.50 each. I had a week a while ago in which I had five flats! So that would be... well, you do the math.

But seriously, that pump isn't too big; it only weighs 8 ounces. I might switch to CO2 someday.
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:46 PM   #9
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I like the idea of the CO2 cartridges, but for the expense: the cartridges are $1.50 each. I had a week a while ago in which I had five flats! So that would be... well, you do the math.

But seriously, that pump isn't too big; it only weighs 8 ounces. I might switch to CO2 someday.
Check out the ones at Walmart used for CO2 guns - usually cheaper
5 flats - something between the tube and tire?
I put some talcum powder inside the tire - it reduces heat and the inner tube from sticking to the tire - might help.
8oz is good - it looks heavier.
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Old 03-26-2009, 06:27 PM   #10
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I had a week a while ago in which I had five flats! So that would be... well, you do the math.
Yikes-- I haven't ridden seriously for nearly five years, but when I did I used thorn-resistant tires with tube liners. They added weight (and rolling inertia) but they more than made up for lost time & CO2 cartridges.

At five flats per week it's probably cost-effective to hire a chase vehicle or wear jogging shoes...
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:09 PM   #11
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Ever thought of trying any of the solid tires? I have used them with mixed results. And, I'm getting ready to try them again on my recumbent this year.
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