Ben Wheeler 80 Mile Ride.

I took off on the F5 yesterday morning and did a different route out to Ben Wheeler, then back through Martins Mill and Purtis Creek State Park. I kept a bit easier pace in the early part of the ride than I did last week, and felt much stronger at the end. I’m still not where I need to be for next month’s Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred ride. I finished around 12:40 in the afternoon, long before the 100 degree afternoon high temperature showed up, but it was still pretty hot. I ended up with 80.2 miles.

I had a total of 150 miles for the week. I did 30 mile rides on Tuesday and Wednesday, and a 10 mile ride on Monday. 10 miles is a shorter ride than I ever normally do, and this one wasn’t intentional. I had installed tubeless tires on the bike last Sunday, and the tire on the rear wheel just wouldn’t quit leaking around the bead on Monday’s ride. I finally had to give up, cut the ride short, and install a tube in the tire. The Velocity A23 rims on my wheels are supposed to be tubeless compatible, and the front rim is working perfectly, but not the rear. I’m thinking I’ll just run a tube for a month or two, giving the tire bead some time to better conform to the shape of the rim, then try tubeless again.

Today’s 80 mile Ben Wheeler route.

Tubeless Tires

At best, I seem to get around a year of service from bicycle tires on my main bike. Replacing tires has become a summertime ritual. But this year, I decided to do something a bit different. I converted the F5 to tubeless tires. With the rough roads I find myself riding since my move to Gun Barrel City, tubeless tires sounded appealing. You can run them at a lower pressure for a smoother ride, without having to worry about the pinch flats you can get with tubes. And sealant in them gives them flat protection.

The wheels I built for the F5 last year have Velocity A23 rims, which are already tubeless tire compatible, so it was just a matter of buying tubeless tires and the other components that go with them. I bought Schwalbe One tires, the Velocity valves and 21mm Velotape that are made for the A23 rims, Stan’s Notubes sealant, a sealant injector, and a presta valve core remover. Today was installation day.

Research had told me that inflating tubeless tires for the first time can be tough. That proved to be true. I’ve ordered a presta chuck for my compressor that should make it easier next time. We’ll see how the tubeless setup does.

The tires are now installed.

They are Schwalbe Ones.

Ben Wheeler 86 Mile Ride

I took off on the F5 this morning and rode to Martins Mill, then on to Ben Wheeler, then a few miles more. I’ve finally found a good road past Ben Wheeler. County Road 4714, south of town, is a quiet little road that’s not too rough. On the days when I still want to ride further when I get to Ben Wheeler, this is where I’ll go. I may work out a loop that uses this road.

I had a very unusual sighting on today’s ride: other cyclists. I met several other riders at the store in Martins Mill. They were leaving as I arrived, so I only got to talk to them for a couple of minutes, but it turns out they belong to the Athens Bicycle Club. I had no idea there was a cycling club this close to me. I’ll probably join them on some future rides.

I had intended to ride 90 miles today, but I was so wiped out when I arrived at Purtis Creek State Park at mile 74, I just rode straight home from there, rather than doing my usual loop through the park. I ended up with 86.2 miles. My weight is getting closer to where it needs to be for the Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred next month, but as today’s ride reminded, I’m definitely not ready for it yet, fitness-wise.

I managed early morning 30 mile rides out to Purtis Creek State Park on both Tuesday and Wednesday morning this week, so ended up with 146 miles total for the week.

Today’s route.

Ben Wheeler 80 Mile Ride

It was a busy work week this week, and I didn’t get a single mile on the bike until Friday. But I got in 50 miles on Friday, and today, I rode out to Ben Wheeler and a bit beyond for 80 miles, so I have 130 miles for the week. The same thing happened during the holiday week last week, and I only got in two rides for 100 miles total. Today’s ride left me as wiped out as I’ve been in quite a while. I still have much to do to get ready for the Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred next month.

Today’s route.