Set out yesterday afternoon for a long road ride, with the plan to do some of the bigger gravel road climbs/descents and some exploring. There’s a road shown on every map around, that if it exists it would make for a cool route from FATS up to the dam. That was the plan.
The first climb up Philpot Rd was fine. Little loose, a few ruts I’d need to remember when coming back down later in the day. Then it was a short stretch of pavement over to Duck Pond Rd. Duck Pond Rd is where people go to ride a big hill for training, it’s about as big and steep as it gets around here. Going down it on a MTB is sketchy, it’s VERY fast ( and can be loose. On the road bike, it was very very sketchy! The gravel was chunky and sharp, half way down I heard the rear tire hissing. I’m using some tubeless 28mm road tires, so I let the sealant pool around the cut and it sealed. Pumped it back up, and continued down the hill.
But it was going soft, the sealant wasn’t holding. I tried pumping it up again, but then realized there were several cuts. So I put a tube in, finished the downhill, and then did some climbing back to a main paved road. Rode it for a short ways, then turned down a new-to-me gravel road descent that was super fun and fast. It dumps onto pavement, cross some railroad tracks and then down some more. Flying down the pavement the rear felt funny, then thump-thump-thump-thump. Flat tire. Not just low on air, but FLAT.
By the time I got the bike stopped I had ridden the totally flat tire for at least 30 yards. I had no more tubes. I had patches, but after riding it flat I assumed the tube was pretty well shredded up. I sat on the side of the road and my riding buddy went back to his car and came and picked me up.
I’d set out with the hopes of 40+ miles…ended up with 11. We did drive out and check on that road, some sections aren’t passable but some are, so I’m excited to get out on them on the MTB once fall gets here and the undergrowth dies back some.
Time to find some tires better suited to bombing sharp gravel hills! Hopefully I can patch this tire and get it set up tubeless again and continue using it for road and commute duty, and put some burlier CX tires on the stock wheels for more ‘exploratory’ days.