A short report on a 60 km ride I did on Sunday May 3.
It was gorgeous in London, Ontario. We struck out at 9 am along the bike paths heading east, the red wing blackbirds were singing. It was warm. By 10 am we were well outside the London city limits and it was getting toasty. So much so I whipped off my shirt and rode in my bra, shorts and open toe sandals. Oh so sweaty. I had a moment where I thought, “oh no people will see my belly!” but that was quickly forgotten because I felt instantly cooler and more comfortable. A headwind when it’s hot feels refreshing. It’s hard to believe a month ago it was 8C and a headwind was chilling me to the bone.
Everyone was out, cyclists, runners and motorcyclists, all wanting to soak up the sun. We got to Belmont before 11 am and enjoyed lots of yummy food. Back on our bikes and heading towards London I was huffing along trying to catch up to Randonneurs Dave & Michel when I inhaled a bee.
It thwacked the back of my throat and I swallowed reflexively. I tried coughing it back up as I felt a burning and swelling in my throat (maybe a sting?) then I started uncontrollably vomiting…at speed. Of course it was at speed. So as I’m slowing down, retching, I hit a very small pothole. Then the road seemed very bumpy, no wait, I’m losing control, oh is this a fricking de-railer thing? I wobble to a stop and try to regain some semblance of dignity (ya, no, that car going by totally saw me honk my guts out). I get off my bike, wipe my mouth and see it is only a flat. My spare is riding away from me on Michel’s back (I’ve haven’t gotten an under-seat bag yet for my flat kit). I call out “GUYS! Guys! I ate a bug!” I am six year old me, kind of pouty lipped and sad. I hate vomiting. I hate inhaling bugs. I hate not being 100% independent and needing help. “Guys! Wait up guys!”
Michel sensed a disturbance in the force and looked back, seeing me walking my bike he wheeled around. We get the tire off the bike and Dave is there offering to teach or do. “Just change it, I will learn by watching this time.” No, I haven’t changed a flat yet, it was my first. Dave walked me through how best to do it. I would have taken everything off the rim but it is way easier just to slide the inner tube out leaving the tire mostly in place.
I grabbed the hand pump only to find the nozzle, which was there a couple weeks ago, missing. Dave had CO2 cartridges, thank goodness we are friends! So the flat fix took about 15 minutes, thank you Dave!
Back in town we stopped for iced tea, I had overheated quite a bit and was starting to have a headache. I eventually remembered to put my shirt back on as a few friends rode by lovingly calling out to me “Hey sexy lady!” Right, I’m standing on a busy rode in naught but a bra and cycling shorts breaking all the fat girl rules.
My bike, Ethel, only has one water bottle clip and I definitely need a second, I refilled my bottle twice and was still a little dehydrated by the end of the ride. Michel had switched to his new fixie, Handsome Bob, and needs water bottle holders too. It’s been quite the experience getting geared up over the past 9 months, it seems we are always finding more things we need, like under seat bags, a multi-tool, a repair kit etc for me. I’ve been sharing with Michel but that moment of seeing all my repair options disappear over a hill was not cool.
So, there was a bee, some barf and a bicycle flat. It’s a funny story and a very memorable ride. I’m thankful I’m not allergic to bees!