Day 8 Yelm to Tenino, Washington: Blam! - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

May 8, 2011

Day 8 Yelm to Tenino, Washington: Blam!

Dodie here. Well, Happy Bleeping Mother's Day to me. It started nicely, with a bit of a sleep in and a Skype chat with the Missoula grand kids. Contacted Art, our warm showers host in Longview, maybe for tomorrow night, and now have his address. However he says he will meet us to guide us in, so we don't go via the 1000 foot hill climb!! (Thank you Art that would have finished me off for sure.)

Googled our route for today and did a bit of tweaking to get the cue sheet readable and off we went - 100 m to the Shell station to purchase some sandwiches and snacks for the day. At 11:30 we finally started pedalling when BLAM! The supposedly flat proof ultra expensive Schwalbe Marathon Plus rear tire on my bike blew out its sidewall. We had gone all of 20m thru the Shell station parking lot!!!

Steve is now headed back up the 507 to the, thankfully nearby Walmart. They may or may not have a 700C tire. When he returns it will be TRY to get the bike rolling again and then head South??? Grrrr.

Steve here, back now. Walmart's bike department features gay pink kids' bikes and other toy type models. With rising despair I noted no tires immediately in evidence. However, yes, on a bottom shelf, some folding tires in boxes! Oh, oh, 24', 26', no 700 C. Gulp! But wait, now on my knees (literally and figuratively) I spot a 700C box hiding at the back of everything else. Hurray!

Back at the bikes, the forensic analysis of the Schwalbe began. At first it seemed the sidewall spontaneously blew out, leading to speculation about over pressure, or simple failure. However the balance of probabilities is for a cut in the sidewall that allowed a blowout later. The weird part is that despite there being a lot of debris on the roads we have ridden, there never seemed to anything that could have jumped up and slashed Dodie's tire sideways. (Dodie, though is voting for the same broken beer bottle parts that did in the BoB, in Puyallup.)

The Walmart tire, at 1/6 the price, does have a Kevlar belt, but is too skinny for our purposes. Still, it did put Dodie back on the road. Plus we got too meet Greg from California, attracted by the spectacle of Dodie's 'big rig' in pieces on the ground. (I find I need to have the BoB unloaded and detached plus the bike flipped over to work easily on a rear wheel.) Greg is here to look for a place to buy, to escape the congestion and growing conservatism of his present home. Depressed real estate prices in this area make it an attractive move.

Big rig on its back.
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Death of a legend.
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Take it slow, eh?
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My tears at dumping that brand new, heavy duty Schwalbe in the trash were bitter indeed! Also bitter was the fact that in my hurry to get going I pinched an inner tube installing the new tire. Rather than pop in another new one, I decided to patch the tube I had just nicked. Used one of Slime's 'Scabs', which are new to me and seemed to adhere to the tube really well. Got the whole bike reassembled, only to realize the tube was leaking slowly. Ripped it all apart again. The forensic analysis of the Scab is that it got wrinkly and no longer made an effective seal. Add one more to my rogues gallery of failed products (see the complete rant at the end of this entry.) By 2:30 p.m. we were finally ready to leave. Dodie pointed out that it was now too late to get anywhere, that the rain was restarting, and that we had no idea of a place to stay down the road, plus she was still beat from a week of rain, traffic, and hills. She voted for another night with the Jacuzzi. I remember a CGOAB blog where the fellow, Jarrod (I think) vetoed some M&Ms at a rest area, to save money. Thereafter he was known in the blog as 'the Dictator'. In this case, dictator Steve sent us down the road, into the unknown and the rain.

(Just read this bit to Dodie - she says 'Dictator-Cheapskate Steve).

The road was actually the Yelm-Tenino trail. There can be no more gorgeous, flat, well paved, or well marked route. Too bad we were feeling so sour about running around over the blow out. Plus, Dodie really is still beat. What do we mean by 'still beat'? We mean that 20k down the world's easiest trail she spontaneously and suddenly got off her bike, lay down on the pavement, and fell instantly asleep. It was a little disconcerting for the family that came by - mother with baby, six year old with training wheels, bemused Dad. I lay down beside Dodie to show that this is how we always do it. Nothing amiss here!

At the end of the trail is the Tenino City Park, a large area with some covered pavilions, play equipment, washrooms, etc. We chose one such covered area and set the tent up on a concrete pad underneath. There are picnic tables under here with us, so it is very comfortable to sit and type, eating crackers, playing cards, and looking out at the bloody rain. One other plus - found wifi!

Back end of Tenino, Washington.
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Rustic chalet at Tenino, with two picnic tables and wifi!
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Stevc's rogues gallery - the sad sage of epic technologic failure.

GPS - you've read it all in previous entries. But today, do you think a bicycling GPS would have a way to search for a bike shop? Hah, what a joke. But, if you happen to need Property Management or Graphic Design while pedalling, or how about Home Inspection? No problem!

Schwalbe - the jury is out on this one. But this 'flat proof' product did find a way to dramatically blow up after a week on the road.

Slime Scabs - cruel hoax, looks like a good seal, isn't.

Slime Slime - cruel hoax, failed to seal small cut.

Planet Bike cycle computer - doubles as aquarium, but we want to see the data not water sloshing around behind the screen! If Dodie can ride in the rain, why can't the Planet Bike?

Coghlan's seam sealer and Eureka tent. Why make a tent with a rain fly that doesn't cover the front and back seams, leading to mega leaking? The tent manual said better seal the seams. Say what? Are you making a sieve or a tent? Ok, so we went out and bought the seam sealer. Out of the tube, a very watery clear liquid shot, and dribbled down the side of the tent. So we laid the tent flat. Now the clear liquid soaked into the seam - looked OK. But 1/5 of the way into the tube the liquid became pasty. Hmm. Maybe that's how it's really supposed to be. Worked the 'paste' into the seams. Result? Dried mega flaky and white. Flaked off all over the floor and inside the tent. Tent now looks like when world's worst handyman tries to recaulk the bathtub. Also, still leaks.

REI Novara Gortex lined cycling gloves. Work well, but seam at wrist leaks. Applied seam sealer. See Seam Sealer rant above!

Planet Bike aquarium
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Seam sealer?
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Today's ride: 28 km (17 miles)
Total: 485 km (301 miles)

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