Running on empty

I started out on my normal bike ride this morning.  I was thinking that I needed to stop early (I usually do, on Tuesdays), so I was going to do laps in the hills nearby.  But half a mile or so out, I went over something.  I heard and felt it, so I was immediately suspicious.

If I'd been more experienced, I probably would have turned around during this suspicious time, but I just kept going, hoping I was wrong.  I wasn't; I was out of air very quickly.

Having no experience, I worried that I had some sort of flat where fixing the flat would immediately result in the fixed tube getting punctured again, so I started walking home.  I got to a nice and bright streetlight, though, and decided to stop and try to fix the tire there.

Well, I got one tire lever in, though it looked a little strange.  When I tried to get the second, though, I broke the lever (and this lever set only had two).  So, I walked the rest of the way home, and went to fix the tire.

Once I had plenty of light, and such, I saw that the problem was that the first lever had managed to get under both sides of the tire, which likely meant that the second did as well.  So breaking the lever made a lot of sense.

It probably took me a lot longer than it would for someone with more experience, but I had no trouble fixing the tube at home.  I thought I wouldn't be able to ride at all today until I remembered that my normal reason for leaving early on Tuesday didn't apply today.

So I had a little bit of time, and tore out on a high-intensity, short ride around the neighborhood (including one lap around the hills where I'd originally intended to do three or four laps).

The one bonus was getting a somewhat better handle on my FTP, since the reading was coming off a shorter, higher-intensity ride than my usual.  And that's what you're supposed to do when measuring FTP.  I learned that I'm a little closer to where I want to be, but still a ways off (around 3.6 W/kg, and I want to be more like 4-4.5.  And yes, I know that that's a wide range).

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