My wife is racing the District TTT championships on the Altamont on Saturday. I was supposed to be riding but could not get a team together. I am pretty upset about this but life goes on and I have volunteered to be a motorcycle marshal instead. I wanted to set up a Strava segment for the TTT course so Sandra and myself set off to do a reccy on the tandem.
It was really hot on the Altamont and we were dismayed to get a rear wheel flat just before the Caroll road junction (a mile or so into the course). Upon inspection of the tube I discovered that it had basically split along the seam inside and that nothing had punctured the tire. We have been plagued by crappy quality tubes lately (shame on you Performance bikes). The fun didn’t end there as I discovered our CO2 inflator was empty so I had to inflate the tyre by hand using a tiny Crank Brothers hand pump. It took ages and I was sweating like a pig in a thermal blanket by the time I got enough air in to continue. We decided to head back home to get a spare tube and use the track pump to get the tire up to full pressure before risking the 40MPH+ descents on this course.
On our second run on the Altamont the wind had really picked up and so had the temps. The tailwind section on the way out was very fast but there was no wind to cool you down and we were both sizzling at close to 100f. The return leg turned into a bit of a slog and it was difficult to keep to our planned easy pace. The Altamont can be a very hard course when mother nature turns everything up to 11 and that’s why all those windmills are there. It was like fighting against an industrial powered hair drier for 7 miles.