Saturday, April 23, 2016

I had one day off before having to work a 6 day stretch. The weather was warm and sunny, so I headed out for a ride. I had no particular direction in mind but the wind helped me determine my first turn towards Whippoorwill Rd in the hopes that it would be a bit sheltered.  As I was traveling along Whippoorwill I passed a small parking area with a map of the trails that it led to. On the map they showed a dirt road so naturally I had to check it out. Well the road proved to be less extensive than the map led me to believe and every off shoot soon became too rough for the likes of me. Never the less it was a good warm up.

At this point I decided I would head over to Ashlawn Farm to get a frozen coffee drink. As I headed up the multi use path over the bridge there was a RUSA sign announcing a rest stop feast just around the corner. Looking up the path I saw two randonneurs. Well the thought of some sort of a brevet route coming through my neck of the woods peeked my curiosity so I kicked it into 2nd so I could catch up to the riders up ahead. I passed them on the bridge and a little bit later the male rider passed me. We continued back and forth like this for a while and at one point I asked him where he had come from. He told me he had come from Westfield  Mass, holy crap no wonder I passed them on the up hill of the bridge!  A 300 km brevet is 190 miles!  RUSA's idea of just around the corner turned out to be about 3 miles to Saybrook Point Monument Park.  Later I learned it was the Old Saybrook 300 km hosted by Berkshire Brevets . Old Saybrook was the midway point control before the randonneurs headed back to Westfield.

After I discovered where the control was I meandered around Saybrook point. That's when I discovered a thorn in the sidewall of my front tire. Of course I was compelled to pull it out, at which point sealant began bubbling out. I don't have a tubeless set up and on the Soma I use tubes with Schrader valves which aren't ideal if your going to put sealant inside the tube, but it is possible to remove the core from a schrader valve.

I decided to put sealant into my tubes after one too many sharp metal objects had pierced  my tire and tube. Now the sealant was put to the test. I wiped away the bubbling sealant but it just came right back, so I decided to pedal up the road a bit then stop and check the tire again. Less than 200 ft later I stopped and the sealant was still bubbling, so I leaned the bike to the side of the hole for a moment and spun the tire. At that point the sealant seemed to be congealing so I went on my merry way. Ten minutes later I arrived at the coffee shop. No doubt the tire had lost some pressure but the tube seemed to be sealed. After wiping away the dried sealant I could no longer see any signs of the piercing.

I know there's dry rot on the side walls but I have never had a problem riding tires like this. I will take a closer look at the tire and tube in the near future but several days later it is maintaining it's pressure. I use Joe's eco sealant
 It doesn't contain any latex and I believe it is better for use inside tubes than some of the other sealants on the market that ball up after about 6 months.

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