...but a flat? No problem. Actually, more like a cut. As in my brand spankin' new rear Specialized Roll-X mud tire was sliced open 3 minutes into the race yesterday.
Rolling through the opening flowing single track and I must have hit the only sharp object on the trail. BOOM! was the familiar sound, followed by the painfully familiar feeling of no rear traction. The tire had completely blown off the rim. I tried to boot it back up but the remaining sealant fizzle revealed the gaping hole and no hope for repair.
My day done, I walked backwards on the trail relishing in the fact that I was not 5 miles away, but a mere 1/2 mile away. After a casual chat with Don, I went to go mount my dry condition wheel so I could ride to a faucet to wash off the nasty Stan's sealant off my bike before it turned to dried epoxy. About the same time, Don and I both had a thought... Don could look away while I went back on course.
Now this is highly illegal (As is taking a teammate's wheel which was offered by Superstar Dave Coar) as it is considered outside assistance by USA Cycling, as if to say the 15 minutes lost walking back to the car wasn't penalty enough.
Anyway, I decided I was going to chase hard for one lap to see what I could do (that and I had some calories to burn off from my pre-race big breakfast!) I set off like a scalded dog. I did some skills work, focusing on less braking through corners and generally trying to maintain momentum. It must have worked because my average power for the lap was within 30w of my thresh hold power, and for twice as long as the power test to boot!
Anyway, looking for a good set of results in the MTB stage race coming up this weekend. Perhaps no flat this race...