“We’re getting trucker hats.”

Day 58: Williams to Prescott, AZ… A short ride of 66 miles turned into quite a FLATastic day.

We woke up and did our daily chores. It was my turn to ask my date to prom!! I asked Scott by writing out “Prom?” with silverware and a beer can as the dot for the question mark… It’s an inside joke with the team that’s kind of hard to explain, so I won’t try, but I just wanted my readers to know what they were looking at in the photo…

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HE SAID YES!!!!

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Olivia and Marge were asking Daniel to prom (remember… Daniel won the massive rock, paper, scissors contest that allotted him two dates to prom). They stood at the end of the road that we turned onto out of the host that morning so they could ask him together. Since we’ve all been together for over two months, we have a lot of inside jokes… So again, this one is hard to explain, but they asked him and he said yes!!!

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In honor of the 19 firefighters who recently lost their lives while combating forest fires in Yarnell, a small town just outside of Prescott, we wrote “19” on our calves and arms. We wanted to remember them as we rode.

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It was Motherbird’s birthday, so coffee crew went on our daily morning coffee run. Then we headed out!!

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Interesting note about Arizona: it is NOT illegal to ride bikes on the interstate. While I can practically hear my mother gasping for air at the thought of me riding alongside I-40, it is in fact exactly what we did. It was pretty awful because there was so much, for lack of a better term, shit on the shoulder of the road that going downhill was not enjoyable. We had to dodge so many things that could puncture our tires or wipe us out that it was really not fun at all. Luckily, we weren’t on it for long.

We got to a gas station, where Meg had to change a flat tire she’d gotten along the way. That gas station flat tire turned into two flat tires for Meg, and then one flat for Claire. It was about a 2 hour ordeal. Unfortunately, this was not the end of it.

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When we finally got to lunch along with sweep, who had obviously caught up to us in that 2-hour time period, Meg had another flat. Three attempts at fixing her flat tires, which again kept blowing as she was pumping them up, and over an hour later, we finally left lunch. It was becoming a very long and incredibly hot day… Despite the fact that this was supposed to be an easy, chill 66 mile ride.

After lunch, we cruised downhill for a bit. It finally felt like we had gained some momentum and were cruising along. That is until Gerk said “uhh I don’t mean to bust up the party, but my back tire is flat”. And so it began again.

We stopped at a Pepto-bismol colored gas station to fix Gerk’s flat. She seemed to have caught the bad flat luck from Meg, as Gerk continued to lose more and more tubes to whatever had originally popped her tire. The thing about flats is that they can come from something as visible as a staples or as invisible as a very small hole in your rim tape. If you don’t cover the original hole in your tire, it could pinch your tube and cause yet another flat (I’m guessing this is what kept happening to us).

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Instead of being mad and frustrated with the situation, we decided to enjoy each other’s company and laugh about it. We’re not together for very much longer, after all, so we might as well take pleasure in the moments we have left as a team.

Meg decided that she would eat a Popsicle for every flat tire we’d had. At this point, the tally was up to 7, and she’d only had 5 Popsicles, so she had some catching up to do.

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Gerk ended up getting several more flats. We had run out of tubes, so we were attempting to use the patch kit to save the old ones. At one point the following conversation happened:

Gerk: “You guys! They have some SWEET trucker hats inside for a dollar each!! I will buy one for everyone!”
Claire: “uhh, Gerk… Your front tire is flat…”
Gerk: *pauses, thinks about it*… “We’re getting trucker hats.”

So we did. They all had terrible sayings on them, some of which were grammatically incorrect. Mine just said “I’d rather be fishing”.

We finally semi-fixed the problem and headed out. Shortly thereafter, Gerk got another flat. What’s comical about this situation is that Gerk hadn’t gotten any flats at all during this whole trip until about a week ago. “When it rains, it pours”. At one point, she had 12 Clif bar wrappers lining the inside of her tires to cover holes (this is the professional way of doing it while on the road). Things weren’t going well.

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Finally, Gerk just had to pull over and get picked up by the van. The rest of us got to the host in Prescott really late… Just as the sun was beginning to set.

Although it was a long and slightly stressful day, there were many times when someone would say: “ya know, if there was any group of people that I’d want to be with in this situation, it would be you guys”. We are a pretty hilarious group of women, and we found happiness in fairly miserable circumstances.

Even on tough Bike & Build days, I’m always incredibly happy!!

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