Cross Country Recumbent
Tuesday July 22, 2003. Riggins ID to Grangeville ID
Today did not work out very well. The morning was fine, with
beautiful scenery along the Salmon river. I had oriented the day
around the big climb that follows White Bird. Fifteen miles out I
had a flat. With any flat you have to analyze the problem, and
correct it so that the new tube doesn't go bad as well. In this
case I noticed that the tube had a hole on the rim side, which is
unusual. I checked the rim tape, and sure enough it had slipped a
little exposing the edge of the one of the spoke holes. I fixed
the tube and repositioned the tape and then moved on.
Here are some shots from along the Salmon canyon. This is all the
camera work for today
Rather than follow 95 out of the canyon I took the Old White Bird
highway. It was absolutely beautiful. About an hour into
the climb the rear tire when flat again. The diagnosis showed the
same problem as earlier. To make a long story short the rim tape
was losing its stickiness, and moving under the climbing load.
I'm sure the heat had something to do with it. By the time I had
gotten halfway up I had burned through all my tubes, and half my
patches. Even more worrying, the patches weren't holding.
The problem is that they are on the rim-side, which isn't nearly so
smooth and supporting as the tire side. This combined with the
heat seemed to be compromising the patches.
I hadn't seen any cars for almost 2 hours, and I was starting to
formulate strategies for walking off the hill when a car came
along. I flagged it down and asked the driver to take me to
Grangeville. Sharee was her name, and she was extremely nice and
understanding. In Grangeville I picked up some tape to shore up
the failing rim tape, and some tubes at the local hardware store.
Grangeville is too small to have a bike shop. Sharee took me back
out to the hill (about 15 miles away) and hung out while I repaired the
bike. Alas the tubes (the only ones availabe) were schrader
valve, and the hole in my rim was not big enough for them. After
more fooling around which basically demonstrated that the patches
weren't going to cut it, I finally had to give up on the day. We
disassembled the bike in order to sort of get it into her trunk.
I'm at a hotel in Grangeville now recovering from my
discouragement. I've repaired the rim tape (I think), and I
borrowed a drill and reamed out the rim, which will now accept a
schrader valve. The tubes that I've put in are also tougher (so
called thorn-proof), and fit better with the wider rear tire that I
installed in Oxbow. Tomorrow will tell if I've got it