Monday, July 22, 2013

Flat Attack Saves The Day

Saturdays are usually my “brick” day, which to the uninformed consists of a bike immediately followed by a run. Doing regular bricks helps reduce the “my legs feel like jello” sensation on race day. I’ve been dealing with a minor tweak in my knee since Echo, so I had earlier decided to be cautious and skip Saturday’s run. In a show of perfect timing, Triple Threat team member Jackie Muterspaugh asked if I wanted to join him for an open water swim followed by a bike. I rarely do this type of brick, and it sounded fun. Besides, I’m motivated to put forth a better swim effort at Spudman, and figured additional time in the water would be good for me. Jackie brought along  a buddy of his named Sam, and we got in roughly 1500 meters. We took turns at the front, and I was reminded what a difference drafting makes vs. forging your own path. In reality I find it tough to draft for long stretches during a race. I usually am able to draft for short segments throughout, but it’s difficult to maintain. Sometimes the swimmer I’m following starts to go off course, and I leave them to take a straighter line to the next buoy. Sometimes I keep hitting their feet (which is super annoying when you’re on the receiving end) so I go around, and other times the person is too fast and they drop me. All that said, I need to make a more conscience effort to draft in the water...  it’s like biking with a huge tailwind.

About 30 minutes into our ride, Jackie and I looked around and realized Sam was behind us on the side of the road. We circled back and found he had flatted, and I took the opportunity to talk up my recent discovery of Flat Attack as we helped change the tire. We continued on our way, getting a 2 hour ride in. When I got home I found a thorn (I think it was one of those evil “goat heads”) jutting out of my front tire. The thorn was plugging the hole it had created, and I thought “alright, time to put Flat Attack to the test.” I rode around the block trying to shake it, but it was holding on for dear life. With one foot clipped in, I then reached down and pulled it out before quickly starting to pedal. I rode around the neighborhood again, then checked it out. The result was just as Mr. Steve “Flatman” Henich said it would be… Flat Attack was too fast!! I don’t think I lost any tire pressure at all. I could see the tiniest pinpoint amount of green sealant in the spot where the thorn had been, which I wiped off, but that was it. On the other hand, without Flat Attack that tiny prick would’ve cost me a new tube and the hassle of fixing another flat. You saved the day, Flat Attack... you saved the day.

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