When my husband suggested that we attend a bike ride followed by a beer tasting event at a local brewery, I could not pass it up. I had a bike ride scheduled for that date and I really, really like beer.
My husband loaded our bikes onto his car and off we went to Katy, Texas. By the way, we only live like 10 miles east of the Katy-based brewery, so theoretically, had we been more hardcore, we have biked to the start of the ride.
We parked on the grass near the brewery and prepared for our 15 mile ride out of Katy, towards Brookshire, and finally, to the south to Fulshear. From Fulshear, our plan was to turn around and ride back to Katy. Then we would jog around Katy for 25 minutes.
My goal this ride was as follows:
1. Warm-up for 10 minutes;
2. Cycle for 55 minutes keeping my heart rate in Zone 3 (around 148 bpm) and my cadence between 85 rpm and 95 rpm;
3. Cycle the rest of the 30 miles at my leisure.
Anyhow, I suspected something was amiss when one guy came up to us and offer us his map. Apparently, this poor fellow had already suffered through two – TWO – flats before even making it out of the parking lot. This did not bode well.
As we began our ride out of town, I noticed another group of riders helping a lady fix her flat. Then about a mile later, I glanced to my right and saw two male riders working on a third fellow’s flat. This wasn’t good at all. Not at all.
To be sure the road was not pristine. Although it had a good shoulder, there was gravel on some parts and unevenness on many parts. Still I would not have expected to see so many flats in so little time.
At the intersection where we would turn south towards Fulshear, I caught up to my husband. He was talking to two ladies who were worried about their friend – a lady in a purple shirt who had yet to catch up to them. Given my generally clueless nature when meeting new people, I was initially annoyed that these two ladies were addressing me and asking if I had seen their friend. When I figured out I was being asked something, I told them about the ladies who were fixing a flat. This seemed to satisfy them. The light turned from red to green and we were off, peddling south towards Fulshear, Texas.
On the way, I saw a strange and wondrous thing – a gaggle of say, 10 to 15 smartly spandexed and jerseyed men, standing around one fellow who was, alas, fixing a flat. The majority of the members of this tragically failed peloton were milling around aimlessly in the burdgeoning Texas mid-morning heat while their fellow struggled mightily to fix the flat.
Given the number of flats I saw yesterday morning, it should not have surprised me when at around mile 20, I noticed my husband slowing ahead of me. He started edging off the road and toward the grass. I caught up to him and asked what the matter was. He had a flat. Bummer. I asked him if I should stay behind and help him out. He said it wasn’t necessarily. I agreed. Satisfied that my husband would survive his ordeal without my help – I don’t know how to fix a flat – I rode on.
Once I got back to Katy, I waited for my husband. I was confident that he would appear within 30 minutes. After hour however, I became concerned. Perhaps he had been goared to death by a pack of raging boars? Perhaps rednecks had seized him for ransom? Perhaps an oncoming peloton had engulfed him as he rode passed. There was no telling what crazy fate had befallen him and his yellow bicycle.
I was sitting with a group of triathletes who were waiting for the brewery to open, when I saw a truck come into the parking lot. In the bed of the truck was my husband’s yellow specialized bike. And from the cabin, out popped my husband – looking all the blueberry in his bright blue kit. I wearily walked toward him and asked him to open is car. Also, would he like to accompany on a 25 minute jog through Katy, Texas?
Eventually, I found out that my husband had received yet another flat two miles from the brewery. Bad luck. Flat City.