Big Headaches

It had to be the rear tire, didn't it?

Raw. Gray. Windy. Wet. Muddy. Cold.

Hey, let's go for a bike ride!

I was feeling cabin feverish and needed to just get out and do something strenuous.

Stewart was up for a ride, too.

We met at the usual spot. What we call SPITW -- The Smallest Pub In The World, in Úholičky.

By the time I reached SPITW, my head was splitting apart with a massive headache that I hadn't noticed when I left. I guess I shouldn't have had that last bottle of wine the night before.

We headed up the hill to Tursko, inspiring my headache to explore new realms of intensity.

Then we headed across a farmer's field, and circled the Unsettling Forest near Kozinec, when Stewart noticed that his rear tire had sprung a leak. Despite his super-strong Schwalbe tube.

We had no choice but to stop and change it.

The wind was relentless, and our fingers soon were numb from the cold. It's always a tricky thing to change a rear tire. It's never easy to get the chain and the derailler and everything else back there to line up perfectly. There's always a good deal of cursing and greasy hands and sometimes even a little blood.

But we finally managed to fit everything together and were back on our way.

The one sure sign of spring we saw on our ride were these clumps of snowdrops.

We headed through Kozinec and Holubice and down the hill into Zakolany.

In Zakolany, despite my piercing headache, I decided it would be OK to attempt a summit of the Budec Hill, which I've written about before. It's a killer -- so very steep and so very long -- but for some reason, it seemed a bit easier than the last time.

Maybe I'm in a bit better shape, or perhaps it's because I've lost a few kilos since then.

From the summit, it was down through the forest and onto the path that leads us through the back door to Okoř, where we stopped for a much-needed bowl of soup and an even-more-needed beer at the picnic tables outside the Family Hotel Okoř.

I couldn't wait to get home and sit in front of the fireplace with a glass of bourbon. I'm getting kind of tired of these raw winter rides, if truth be told.

Bring on the spring. Please.

Length of ride: 32 kilometers
Average speed: 13.1 kph
Maximum speed: 42.2 kph
Pivo Index: 1
Time on the bike: 2.23.37
Distance ridden so far in 2009: 163 kilometers

A hot bowl of soup and a cold beer -- a cyclist's energy food.

We ran into a couple of folks riding Western on the forest trail behind Okoř. By the time I'd found my camera, they'd already passed.

The view from the top of Budec. I can't wait for this landscape to be bursting with green.


Anonymous said…
As long as the chain is on the smallest sprocket on the back, getting the rear wheel on and off should be easy.
Thanks CH, simple advice that helped the very next day after this post. Again, I had a flat back tire. But this time it was easy...easy when you know how. Thanks.

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