Monday, November 3, 2008

Flat tires bike commuting

As I biked to work this morning, a thought popped into my mind. I thought about how many months it had been since my last flat tire. I had changed my route to avoid all gravel roads. I did research and bought brand-name tires and tubes with good reputations. I had made good choices and I was reaping the benefits. I was so smug as Mr. Wonderful. Then, I wondered why this thought had popped into my mind so loud and clear. Uh oh, it's another premonition. I am going to get a flat. Crap.

So there I was riding home this afternoon. I was watching intently for rocks, glass, roadkill, anything. I think my eyes and brain consumed more calories than my legs. I got through most of my ride intact, and was beginning to feel good. Maybe I was not going to get a flat.

But then I got to the most unsafe part of my ride, about one mile from home. It's a short section of narrow 45mph two-lane state highway which goes under a bridge carrying the interstate highway. It is dark and moist, I light myself up brighter than riding at night, wait for a break in the traffic, and sprint as fast as I can. I got all the way under the bridge and back into daylight as Miss Perky's Suburban raced past me. Then KERBLAM, I hit something in the road. What was that? I didn't see a thing. And I couldn't look back, since an elephant chain of SUVs behind Miss Perky was still racing by. I kept sprinting the last 100 yards until I turned off the highway and up a steep hill into a housing development.

And as I stood to pedal up the hill, I felt a slight soft wobble in my back wheel. Uh oh, I recognize that feeling. Crap.

But no, I did not have A flat tire. I had TWO flat tires. Both the front and rear tires were completely mush. Whatever I hit had punched holes in both tires. Double crap. And I, Mr. Wonderful, was carrying only one spare tube. Triple crap.

I hate premonitions.

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