Newsletter - 2004 Archive

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After completing out-of-province brevets, Ken Bonner reports his results to database coordinator Cheryl Lynch, and CCs the web site re the o.o.p. brevet results page. Ken often gives a brief account of his adventures and this is one of these - from the Portland 600, May 15 & 16, 2004. [Title added later by Eric F.]

Black Cat

by Ken Bonner

Hi, Cheryl!

Just a note to let you know that I completed the Portland 600k this past week-end. 31h 52m. (Portland-Bremerton-Portland --"PBP"!) The plan was to take it easy, in anticipation of a strong ride on the Fleche Pacifique this coming weekend. I managed that part of it, but did not anticipate the black cat that ran across the road in front of me (I'm not superstitious though) .... shortly thereafter I had a pinch-flat in the front tire after hitting some gravel on the road; I was ok until just short of Bremerton, when I made use of the outdoor facilities .... coming out of the bushes I found I had a flat rear tire.

I started with 2 spare tubes, one with a hole in it from the previous puncture. I managed not to get the 1st tube seated correctly and it exploded .... shredding it! So I now had 2 tubes left with punctures, but with so much traffic speeding by, I could not determine where the holes were. Fortunately there was a house across the way and the kind lady inside provided me with a bowl of water to find the punctures. Patched the punctures .... hooray, the patches held!

Patched tube number one is installed correctly ... only to have the valve fail within a couple of minutes! Now on to the last patched tube. With kind lady watching, we both crossed our fingers as I pumped up the last patched tube. It held!! Yahoo!! Many thanks to the kind lady!

Now comes the question .... do I call it a day .... it's only a few hours until darkness and 300k back to my car, so if I puncture again, I will be stranded in the middle of the cold night. Being a single-minded randonneur I determined that I had not driven all the way to Portland just to "dnf". So, I proceeded towards Bremerton, only to miss the turn-off to the control (about 8 miles later, I found it). Challenging my weary mind about what to do if I "flatted" again, the time & miles passed in the darkness. 150k later, I arrived in Centralia & decided to stay in a motel until daylight, so at least I had a better chance of avoiding glass & rocks. The only available room was one for handicapped persons .... at 1:30 am, I am sure I was not operating with all my marbles, so probably fate determined my room for the night.

I am hoping that I have used up my annual quota of punctures & that the Fleche Pacifique ride will be uneventful for all of us!

I am now going out to do some measurements for Stephen for the VI 600.

..... Ken