23 January 2012 - 8:35Trundlectomy
I had my first trundle fail this weekend. I thought I was being smart and came prepared to deal with any would be trail issues by bringing my pump and a mini-tool on my ride on Sunday.
I had a free morning, and although it was cold (-15°), it was bluebird skies and it was supposed to warm up into the 20s. I wanted to try and climb up to Peak-a-View in Sterling Valley, because it was a nice day for pictures. Well, because I had slacked and waited too long before setting out, the sun had had some time to work on softening up the snowpack. The track was well defined and quite packed down, but I was punching through with increasing frequency which was only making me frustrated. I ended up letting some air out of the back tire, and it seemed to help.
I continued my trundle into the woods, where the shade had done a nice job of keeping the snowpack nice and firm. I began my ascent, and was encountering more and more sunny spots where the snow was getting soft. My front wheel didn’t seem to want to stay on track, so I figured I’d stop and let some air out of it.
Well, that was my mistake. As I unscrewed the dust cap, the valve core came with it and all the air whooshed out of the tube. Much cursing ensued. I had to get to my Camelbak, which was under my jacket (in my attempt to keep it from freezing) and wrestle with my pump. After about 10 minutes, my arms tired from filling the tire with air, I went on my merry way. It takes a really long time to fill one of these big tires even to something like 6-8psi.
About 5 more minutes down the trail, the tire was flat again. I was mad. Again I had to get my pump from my Camelback and deal with the valve core that simply was not interested in doing its job. After about 20 minutes, and 3 attempts at getting the tire to hold air, I had to pull the plug on my ride. The valve core kept coming out with the pump.
Completely irate, I had to walk the bike out of the woods. At least i was only about a mile from the car. I think I was most upset about he fact that it was such a nice day. it was well into the 20s by the time I got back to the car, and it was quite glorious out. Oh well, I’ll hopefully have a nice run of weather in AZ next week…
I chalked this ride up to a new learning experience, the moral of the story being “don’t mess with your bike on trail”. If I hadn’t screwed around with my tires I probably would have had a much better ride. Also, I figured out that early mornings or late afternoons/evenings are probably better times to roll on the bike, it definitely helps to have a much firmer surface to trundle over. With temps in the mid 30s all week, I won’t be getting any more saddle time on the Trundleraptor until my return from the southwest. This means more trainer hours, and I even have a glimmer of hope that I can ride one of my bikes outside once the roads clear up.