Twelve from twelve! That’s a wrap, folks. Another year of the Metric Century / Resolution Ride challenge completed. Even though I’ve been doing this monthly challenge for a number of years now, it still helps to keep me motivated and knocking out those longer rides at least once a month.
Sunday is usually the SunDaze bunch ride, but this week it was to be solo as the usual SunDaze riders were off having a Christmas brunch ride in Hobart. Just little old me venturing out early on a cloudy, but otherwise warm and still Sunday morning. At the last minute I decided to wheel the time trial bike out. I’m trying to ride it at least once a week to stay in tune with the position. It’s not easy holding that aerodynamic tuck for extended periods of time and if you don’t ride regularly you soon fall out of touch with it.
Starting from home, I warmed the legs up with a couple of local loops before heading down the highway further afield. Unfortunately the highway (with it’s 100km/hr speed limit) is the only road out, so as much as I hate riding it I don’t always have a choice. On one steeper downhill section I was tucked low in the ski-bends, nudging 70km/hr, when a truck thundered past me, sand and gravel whipping out from it’s double trailer. That was not pleasant.
Once off the highway the roads get quiet again and early on a Sunday morning, there are very few cars about. It’s part of the reason I like to start early. Once the weekend shoppers and day trippers get out on the roads, things get a bit angsty. I focused on keeping my aero tuck tight and pushing consistently on the pedals. Making my way around the back of the airport and Seven Mile Beach on quiet backroads, the main dangers are erratic wildlife darting out from the bushes and carefree dog walkers!
The miles soon flew by. I was feeling pretty comfortable in the time trial position and before I knew it, I’d covered over 80km and was starting to feel a little peckish! Thankfully I knew a good café by the beach (the same one as last month) not too far away.
While enjoying my coffee, I noticed that my Garmin Varia was splattered in a white goo. Sealant! There were spots of it on my frame also. At some point, I must have had a puncture! I spun the wheel to look for any sealant still bubbling out or an obvious puncture point, but I couldn’t find anything. The tyre seemed to have plenty of pressure, so I just let it be. I had less than 30km to go anyway. I’d call that a big win for tubeless!
Leaving the cafe with refreshed legs, I pushed hard to cover the final 30km loop back to my door. I calculated that Mrs TempoCyclist would be on her way back from the Sunday markets soon with some tasty snacks in tow. I easily passed the 100km mark, then continued on to clock a very respectable 112km.
After the ride I used the nerdy magic of my Garmin Varia RCT715 to figure out exactly where I punctured. Flicking back through the footage I spotted the point where sealant first splattered the camera lens.
It was at the 65km mark while riding along at 34km/hr (over 20 mile an hour). I rode another 20 or so km to the café without even noticing it had punctured. I measured the pressure drop when I got home, only 15psi difference. I must say that’s pretty impressive. I think I am now a total road tubeless convert!
Distance: 112.2 km / 69.8 miles
Total elevation gain: 921 m / 3025 feet
Average speed: 31.1 kph / 19.3 mph