Road cycling San Mateo to Foster City – 4/8/10

I FINALLY went out and rode my bike on the road, after 7 months of not riding outdoors!  I had to ride outdoors because I have a sprint triathlon coming up on April 17 – and had no biking in my training at all so far till now.  As usual, since I am not confident on the bike, I was a bit scared for the first couple of minutes – I rode in the parking lot first, to get used to it again.  Then off I went on the bike path. 

I started from the bike path accessible by going to Ryder County Park in San Mateo.  The plan is to go 14 miles, first a mile out north to Coyote Pointe then back to where I started, then south to Foster City then back.  I went after work, that was around 6-ish pm (wheels rolling by 6:30), and the park closes its gates at 7:30, so I thought to myself, “I have exactly one hour to do 14 miles, that’s about my average speed, if I don’t stop.”  The ride going south to Foster City was a little scenic; I was going from 10-17 miles/ hr (cant go too fast because there were some people).  The path wraps around the Bay, I saw a golf course, rode underneath the 92Fwy in Foster City, saw some people in the water, not swimming, not scuba diving since I dont think you find anything underneath the Bay, but some sort of sliding thing, and they had this huge piece of “tent” looking thingy in the water.  They were wrapping up whatever they were doing so I didnt really see their activity.  A portion of the road on this path, right by where I saw those people in the water, was rough, and it felt like I might get a flat on that terrain.  I prayed the whole time I was riding on that approx 2 mile stretch of bad terrain, on my road bike.  Same thing on the way back, had to pass through that road again.  After I passed that path, right by the golf course and maybe about 1 mile away from the parking lot where my beater is parked, I felt it.  I had a flat tire.  I stopped, checked it out, and remembered that I did not have a spare tube.  I thought at this point, it’s only a mile away, I can just walk my bike back to the car.  One guy saw me walking my bike and asked if I had a flat.  I said yes and also didnt have a spare.  This was at a parking lot by the golf course.  Luckily, the guy said that he may have one.  He opened the trunk of his car, he had a lot of sports junk and workout clothing.  He did find an unopened box of spare tube so he helped me change my tire – and pump the tire with my small hand pump (luckily I carried my tools, but no spare tube).  I thanked him for helping me out, then off I went back to the Park and parking lot.

It’s a little dusk at this time, and I got back to the car at 7:45pm, and saw the park ranger cleaning, then about to close the gates to the park!  I hurried so I can leave before he leaves – and I did just in the nick of time, I was the last car out of the park.

Total time = 1:15 (Total ride time ~1:05)

Total distance = 14 miles (approx 13 miles/hr)

Total time changing flat and figuring out and chatting = ~10 minutes