9 February 2008  |  Misc

Always Take Two Tubes

Yes, that is my sage advice for today. Always take two tubes. And your cell phone.

Today’s ride started out really well- it was pretty warm out, and I was feeling good. About two hours into the ride I got a flat tire- no problem. I changed the flat and pumped up the tire. When I took the pump off, the tip of the valve-stem came with it, and all the air rushed out of the tube. Since I only brought one tube, I was, well, screwed. The beauty of riding up north is there is practically nothing up there (except beautiful views and cross-winds), the problem with riding up north is, well, there is practically nothing up there. I had seen 1 car since I had been on that road (about 45 mins) so there weren’t many options for help.

“No problem,” I figured, and I walked over to the nearest house and knocked on the door. Nothing but a dog barking frantically. I walked down the road to the next house and knocked on the door. A woman came to the door, opened it about 4 inches and peered out. “Yes?” “I was wondering if I could use your phone.” I said hopefully, as I tried to look non-threatening. “I am actually on the phone right now.” “Oh, sorry.” “LONG DISTANCE.” And she closed the door in my face. Friendly folks out here… So I walked up the road to the next house, (admittedly a little apprehensive after my first experience with the locals) where I was able to use the phone.

I figured Dusty wouldn’t answer, because a) he was in the garage sanding the boat and listening to Howard Stern, so he probably wouldn’t hear the phone and b) even if he heard the phone, he wouldn’t answer it because he never answers the phone if he doesn’t recognize the number. I left a message that went something like this “Hey Dust- I got a flat on the Cinnamon Roll ride, after that short steep hill and the downhill by the lake, you know? Can you come and bring me a tube so I can finish my ride? I’m going to start walking home now.” And I did. Then I got on my bike and coasted for awhile (luckily I didn’t have the nice wheels on my bike…). Then I figured I should probably get Dusty to bring me a new tire too (the one on there was pretty beat up and I didn’t want to take chances) and an extra tube. So I stopped at another house and again was able to make a call. No answer. So I left another message “Hey Dust- I’m walking down 17 rd, can you bring a new tire and a couple of tubes?” And then I walked for a bit. And then I rode for a bit. Luckily I had plenty of time to take pictures.

So what do you need in a time like this? A sympathetic fellow cyclist, of course- especially one with a garage full of spare tubes (and sweet bikes). I was lucky enough to run into just such a person. He changed my tire and even gave me a spare tube so I could finish my ride. Talk about lucky! It’s always nice to know that there are good folks like that out there. Anyway, I got back on the bike and even though my legs felt pretty bad- it had probably been about an hour since I first got the flat- I was able to finish up the ride, so it wasn’t a complete disaster. But now I know: always take two tubes. And your cell phone.


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