Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Rookie Mistakes

With the unseasonably cooler temperatures this spring the bar for good outside riding weather has been substantially lowered. If the wind is not howling over 20 mph, it is not raining or snowing and especially if the sun is shining it is a good day to ride. It is now spring and I have only ridden outside three time without my winter boots. One of them was in January. History tells us it will warm up as some point.

A few weeks ago, on a Thursday. there was a good day to ride outside. Sunny, 32 degrees, with light NNW winds. It had been cold enough the last couple days that the gravel was hard/frozen. There was a road that goes north of town, through a very small town of Moscow and then continued across interstate 80 and points beyond. My mission was to explore the points beyond and see where I would end up. Connie was going for supper with her sister and to a movie so I had all kinds of free time.

As I headed out I felt pretty good and was rolling along nicely. The gravel was sweet and I was in the zone. I was hoping to get a nice 50 mile ride in before the sun set. I had lights so even the sun set was not going to stop me.

The week before I had scouted this same area and got a flat tire. I could not find the cause of the flat at the time and just changed the tube. Mistake number one. One week later as I am rolling along I noticed the back tire getting soft. What a way to kill your Mojo. No problem I pulled over to change the tube. This time I found the nasty thorn that was the culprit of the last untimely puncture.

My cross bike tires are very hard to install and I don't have the strength to remove the stubborn tires by hand. So I whip out my handy new tire lever and proceed to remove the tire and install the new tube. As I start pumping I notice that the tire is not taking any air. So I remove the new tube and notice I pinched the tube with the tire lever. Mistake number 2.

Now what do I do? The first flat was a slow leak so I figure I will put that tube back in and keep airing it up and limp my way the 15 miles back home. At this point it that is my only choice since I do not have a patch kit with me. Mistake number 3. I make it about 50 yard before the tire is completely flat again. It is time for the come get me call.

Fortunately I had my cell phone with me and did not make mistake 4. I carry my phone about 50 percent of my rides so I caught a break this time. 2 miles of walking and riding on the flat tire to the pavement where my rescuer picked me up and took me home.

Needless to say the next time I was at the bike shop I bought a glue less patch kit. As I tell my boys; "It is only a mistake if you don't learn from it".

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