To make my goal of riding 4,000 miles this year, with 4,000 kilometres within that being loaded touring…
I need to ride 350 miles each month, including 350 kilometres of touring: 350 miles/kms x 12 months = 4200 miles/kms
So for August I rode:
August Unloaded Miles: 101 miles
August Loaded Miles: 36 miles (58kms)
August Total Miles Ridden: 137 miles
Year to Date Unloaded: 906 miles
Year to Date Loaded: 1919 miles (3088 kms)
Year to Date Total Miles: 2825 miles
The first weekend of August had a superb forecast. Cold nights, cool days, but sunny with little wind. I loaded up for a four-day ride. But, 36 miles into it, a cut on my crappy Schwalbe Marathon tire enlarged and imploded. The casing dug into the tube and gave me a puncture. I limped into the nearest town. I sat in a park and tried to figure out a way to boot it… or something. Eventually, I gave up and called my husband to come rescue me. I was going to be riding into areas with no mobile phone reception on the planned route, so rather than get stranded I just gave up.
That set the tone for the rest of the month. The rest of that weekend I sat around feeling sorry for myself. I’ve been fixing flats over and over for 3 months. My Continental Top Contact II had been a great tire, but the end of its life was nearing in May. Then I kept getting a recurring flat in the same spot. Neither my husband nor I could ever find what was causing it.
So I put on my old front Schwalbe Marathon from my 2013 tour. I hated those Scwhalbes. I got 9 flats in 4,500 miles on those tires in 2013 – which is why I went back to Continentals for my 2014 tour. I loved the Continentals – and only had about 3 flats over more than 6,500 miles of riding with them (until the very end, anyway!). So again, since late May, the Schwalbe was giving me a flat every 300-500 miles. Arggghhh… why do people like those so much?
So I ordered another Continental Top Contact II. But it had to come from England. In the meantime, I put on a Specialized Nimbus… simply because that’s what the local bike shop had in a 700 X 35mm. It is super stiff and rolls heavy, but it got me back on the road after a weekend off.
So between the tire problems, the weather, a cold and the general malaise of late winter, not much riding happened this month. It has been a frustrating few months, overall. However, since I rode more than I ever thought I would in July, I guess it made me feel like I could slack off in August. Or something. I don’t know why I didn’t ride as much as I could have, but I didn’t. Most parts of life have been pretty difficult and frustrating this winter, so I suppose that rubbed off on my enthusiasm for dodging rain showers and dealing with mechanical issues.
And now, my riding for the month is over. The last weekend in August will see me sitting on my bum over the Pacific Ocean as I wing my way to see family and friends. It’s an easy sacrifice. I haven’t seen my family in two years, and I’m really ready to get away from the crap at work for a few weeks!
So maybe we can get our act back together in September, even though it will be a short month for pedaling, too. I’ll lose a couple weekends to travel, but I should get to ride for 4-5 days in the Black Hills with my friend Jen and her baby daughter. The weather here in Oz should be warm enough for comfortable overnights again, too, by the time I get back.
In the meantime, here are a few photos from the rides we did do this month…