This past weekend, I had a fantastic weekend getaway in Dallas. One of the highlights of my weekend was the Sunday "Coffee Shop" ride with the folks from Mad Duck Cyclery in Grapevine. It was a fun route with some challenging hills and very friendly cyclists. Riding on a new group ride is a great experience. It exposes you to new challenges and helps you meet new people. However, one big disadvantage is the fact that everything's foreign to you. I wanted to ride with a faster paced group, but the A group is a drop ride. While I'm no stranger to getting dropped, getting dropped and lost in foreign territory was something I didn't want to experience. I stuck with the B group and had a great time. But the not being familiar with the route would come back to bite me later in the ride.
About five miles into the ride, everyone was warmed up and we were moving at a fairly decent pace. The entire route was on pristine pavement with very few imperfections. Suddenly we hit a stretch of road that was in very bad shape. The pavement was riddled with cracks which seemed to be growing larger with each pedal stroke. I was on the back right of double paceline. Suddenly the rider in front of me pointed to the pavement and swerved right. I looked and saw a huge pothole. The thought of bunny hopping it dashed through my head, but by that time it was too late. All I could do was brace for impact. I took a hard hit, and instinctively slowed waiting for two flat tires to cash the checks I had just written them. Surprisingly no flat ever came and I rode on without further issue. I was even able to ride another 23 trouble-free miles the next day around White Rock Lake.
A pothole put a mighty dent in the braking track of my Shimano RS-10 wheels.
It wasn't until I was loading my bike into my car that I saw the damage that pothole had caused. The aluminum braking track of my clincher rim now has a huge dent in it. Surprisingly the bead is holding the tire just fine, but the tire now shows a wobble that wasn't there before. The wobble isn't bad enough to notice on fast descents, but is enough to rub against my rear brake. I'm hoping beyond hope that the wheel is simply out of true and my local bike store can bring it back to arrow straight performance. The Shimano RS-10's I've been using have been a decent wheel set, but are not known for tremendous performance. Many riders complain of having to frequently true them. I'm hoping this is simply my time. If however this is the final straw for my wheels, I've already decided the Easton EA90 Aero wheel set will be my next purchase. Tomorrow's trip to my bike store will tell the final tale.