Monday, July 19, 2010


this is what it looks like to fix a flat
and watch a baby raccoon running behind you

over the weekend of the 4th

I had two bicycle incidents.

The result of one is that Pash is in the shop

and I am not sure when I will get her back.

That's all I care to say on that one for now.
Once I've worked through the situation,
I may have some parts advice for you
riders out there who have a European bicycle.

The other happened three days later.

I thought I would take myself for a nice
Holiday Monday ride before
heading off to the inlaws.
Well, not so fast...

I bike through the University frequently,
and when you do so,
you get used to averting
a lot of glass.

Not this time.

Ever wonder what it is like to get a flat
and if you will know it?

Believe me,
you will know.

A few things on tires and flats...

I ride with Specialized Armadillo tires.
I put over 2000 miles on the last set and never had a flat.
I finally changed them out just because I had so many miles on them.
In this case, a sharp shard of amber beer bottle glass was no match,
but these tires perform very well.
I would not leave the house without them.

I practice changing my own tires.
I do not rely on H to do it for me,
for this very reason.
If you are going to ride a bicycle,
you should know how to change a tire.
When the season is over and I am forced to put the bike on the trainer,
I change out my good tires for old ones.
The hardest part is the rear wheel and getting it back on,
but I am glad I know how to do it,
because guess which wheel went flat...the rear.

I carry a small bag
with tire levers and a spare tube inside.
Though my tire was slashed, I could change out the tube
and get home to replace the tire.

I carry a small pump.

I do not mean to be a Specilized billboard here,
but they make really great stuff,
it's not fluff,
it's substance.

Anyhow, having the right tools
and the know how
is key to being self sufficient
and getting yourself home.

The Pashley situation scares me though,
get a flat on that puppy and it's a done deal,
you are walking to the nearest bike store.
That's not what happened to her, but
the whole incident made me think.
Rest assured, when I brought her to the shop,
they said, those are really good tires.
But still, more reason to keep her for reasonable
length rides.
Walking isn't the best and putting her on the roof rack
to get her to the shop
was I must say,
a pain...

out of these bad cirucumstances
I learned a lot about my bicycles
and me.
Changing my rear flat
on the spot
without an option
made me feel empowered
increased my confidence
and comforted me
for future unfortunate flats.

I hope this helps other riders out there
to keep some tools in your pocket,
literally and figuratively.
Practice makes perfect.