(To know a bit about what's a brevet, here are two excellent links
On becoming a super randonneur)
The interesting 200k story:
Of all the four brevet rides, the 200km one (the easiest of the four and thus the most boring one) turned out to be the most interesting because I had a tire burst, and I fixed it myself with junk from the road side, in true self-supported randonneuring manner!!!
I started off a little leisurely, at 6:25 am (the departure time of the starting point control was 6 am to 7 am). I was really really bored, nothing exciting at all, just a seemingly boring anti-climatic 200km ride after doing the other larger rides. (But I had to do this one to become a 'super randonneur').
|The nasty tyre gash before I attempted to boot it|
Very soon, at around 8:30 am the bike started wobbling periodically - i looked down - the road was smooth. I knew periodic wobbles mean something wrong with the bike rather than the road. (see Sheldon Brown: Creaks, Clicks & Clunks... ...and things that go "bump" on your bike.) Just as i feared something, and looked at the rear wheel, there was a loud 'pop' and I had my tyre burst!
I was not carrying a spare tyre, although i was carrying the usual puncture kit, spare tubes, etc and even a whole spare chain with missing links, taken off from my MTB, ha ha :).
About tires: Tires are not just about the rubber. It's actually a tough fabric casing coated with rubber. The tube inside would simple swell and burst like a balloon without the tough fabric casing embedded in the tire.
So although I had a spare tube and puncture repair kit, I could not simply put a new tube inside, for on pumping it would pop too, out of the gash in the tyre.
So I almost decided to quit, casually, and tried walking until the next bus stop to carry my bike back home. But then I met other riders who passed by, and one of them suggested i place a piece of tough material under the gash, like a piece of toothpaste tube, etc, something that wouldn't stretch. I called my buddy Sreepathi and he suggested booting the tire too.
Then I told them all to continue and I was alone.
I suddenly realized "self-supported" (brevet) is another name for DIY (see My DIY blog) and I perked up. I had noticed a lot of junk on the roadside while trying to walk my bike to a bus stop. So I started hunting for scrap material I could use. After some searching i found something that wouldn't stretch much at all, and felt ideal!! An old leather glove!
|I found this old glove. If you look carefully, you can see it's showing the victory sign he he|
So then I bought a shaving razor from a shack and neatly cut out a carefully measured piece.
|I cut out a piece from the blade, it's on the rock - see?|
Luckily, it did hold, and I did about a whole 150+km more, of the rest of the ride !!!
I thankfully reached the turn around control point well within time. There I met Sandeep and Vinay who are my usual nice riding buddies and good friends.
Sandeep was on the return journey of his 600km brevet. He had not much sleep last night and took little naps, while we waited for him. We had plenty of time to complete the ride!
The sight of Sandeep napping like a new born baby (he was returning with us from a 600km ride) certainly perked my spirits higher up than they already were :D
As we had plenty of time, we had a lovely relaxed ride back. The weather was excellent! Lovely drizzles of rain now and then, and lots of road-side food pitstops :D
|That's Vinay, and me the blue one. At the jackfruit stop.|
And we also finished the excess jackfruit we carried from the last jackfruit stop.
|The blue thing is me, that's the only way i could put all three of us in the picture :)|
This is how the gash looked at this point:
I was always hoping the booted tire would hold until i completed the 200km ride, and thankfully it did. And now I complete the Super Randonneur series.