After 2,100+ miles of riding I finally got my first flat on this bike. Now I’m probably jinxing myself and will get a flat on every ride from here on, but one flat per every 2,100 miles is a pretty damn good ratio, so I’m not that upset…. ok perhaps a little.
It’s curious how much a flat (to use a very bad pun) deflates you on a ride. It’s not that they are hard to fix, it’s just the inconvenience that it causes, not to mention the mess, particularly if it’s the rear tire. You feel exposed standing there on the side of the road, as if all eyes were on you as you set up your makeshift garage, disassembling your bike and laying out your flat tire repair tools.
In this particular case, there was a sidewalk and a nicely manicured lawn to work on. Unfortunately, everything was wet and sloppy after all the rain we had, and, to make matters worse, the lawn was recently cut leaving a collage of grass clippings on virtually everything. My bike looked liked it was camouflaged by the time I was done changing the tire.
The culprit was a very small, but sharp wire, smack dab in the middle of the tire tread, which I found after impaling my finger on it when inspecting the inside of the tire. It was so well embedded that I spent twenty minutes trying to pull it out…note to self, pack a small set of pliers from now on. Once removed, I broke out the new tube, remounted the tire, and reassembled the bike.
Of course, by now my hands were a greasy mess with some grass clipping tossed in for color. I used some nearby wet bushes to clean up a bit, realizing that it would definitely be a good idea to pack some wetwipes in my already packed seat pack (it amazingly holds 2 tubes, 2 tire levers, 2 CO2 cartridges, CO2 trigger, a multi-tool, a tail light, my wallet, my keys, and the garage door opener…I’m going to call it the “Tardis” from now on as it is definitely bigger on the inside than than the outside). By the way, big thumbs up for CO2 cartridges. In my cycling past, I had always used a small frame mounted pump, which are a study in futility as you can never get near to topping off the 120 lbs of air pressure that your tires need. The CO2 cartridge inflated the tire to full pressure almost instantaneously. My only gripe is that it froze to the presta valve , but I’ll blame that on the wet and extremely humid conditions.
So, the moral of todays ride is always cary your flat repair kit and don’t forget to pack a few wetwipes too.
Ride Time: 1:58:02
Stopped Time: 54:30
Distance: 30.34 miles
Average: 15.42 miles/h
Fastest Speed: 22.00 miles/h
Ascent: 208 feet
Descent: 145 feet