First, congratulations on continuing on and completing the race, and qualifying and racing 70.3 worlds.
I wonder if this story was the trigger for the poll about flatting.
But and and here comes the BUT, it did leave me wondering what kind of experience the rider had and especially dealing with what is a really simple mechanical issue that we could all potentially face. I found 4 things a little odd:
1. Not knowing that you had a flat
2. Not practicing removing tires from race wheels.
3. Not having a backup plan for a non removable valve core tube
3. Not knowing that carbon pads work fine on aluminum rims and not taking a wheel from another friend.
The learnings should be: You can buy thread on valve extenders that work with non removable valve core type tubes. I carry on with me always.
I also wrap teflon tape around the valve extender so that I can tape any presta tube threads, and you can just be on your way with any Presta tube.
Carbon pads work fine on aluminum rims, that is what a lit of riders do when they switch to training wheels.
While the story was amusing and I am really glad Bryan finished the race instead of dropping out, and also spread a lot of gratitude on the run, to me it sends a message that we all need to learn more about how our bikes work, and practice and prepare for all scenarios.
Sorry in advance for pontificating, I know this makes me sound pretty snarky.