BaseCamp member Sue Hageman shared her experience at the 2022 Flint Hills Gravel Ride in Americus, Kansas.
I had my first event ride/race Saturday. I was both pleased and disappointed. It started out really well. My average speed was better than I ever had over 15 miles. Halfway through the race I got a flat. I run tubeless. Many lessons learned. I had 2 CO2 cartridges, and.....both were empty. My husband had a pump but he was just over 5 miles ahead of me. I told myself dang it, I'm taking care of this myself. I had several riders ask if I was ok. I said fine. I was going to take off the tire and put in a tube. At that point I'd find someone who had a pump or CO2 to help. 2 guys I knew stopped and helped me. Got me going again by sealing up the "hole" with more sealant. They stayed with me and aired it up one more time. So last half of race I rode on a semi low tire. Lots of pastures were being burned that day, so lots of smoke. Ugh!!
I finished the race, yeah! But wondered what I really could have done with like 30ish" minutes dealing with the tire. From last years race I did better by 41 minutes!!! Yeah. (Last year had 1 mile of hike a bike and head winds first 15 miles.)
Yes!! I did really well from all my training and so excited!! Bummed that I had my literally first flat ever on an event. So would have been nice to know how I could have done without that. But hey, isn't it always something? Flats, winds, mechanical issues, wrecks, rain etc. Nothing ever goes well.
At least with the first event, I know going into the season I wasn't as prepared as I thought. I'm getting a new tire and a under the frame bag to store a pump in. And make sure I have some fresh full CO2 cartridges and sealant.
Here's to my next event in a month. New adventures and longer distance!!!