Thursday, April 24, 2014

You'd Think I'd Know By Now

Bags provided by the Des Moines Register.  Gotta keep 'em dry!  Sandals dry faster than regular shoes FYI.

I listened to the weather broadcast.  I checked the radar and forecast yet I left the house without rain gear or sunglasses.  Similarly, I ride thousands of miles without a pump, spare tube or tire levers.  One of these days.  Sure, the tandem had a flat about a month ago when I rode to Angel's house for dinner on a trail that I use twice a day Monday through Friday without incident.  I also listen to people who query, "You don't have a tube or pump on you?"  When I go on long rides and tours, yes, I am prepped for that, commuting, well, that takes precious space that should be filled with wine and chicken and veggies.  Thought that I'd learn by now to be prepared.

When commuting I carry a presta adapter and patch kit.  Only use the former.  Twice I pushed the bike to Kum&Go and aired the tire up and rode home without further disturbance.  Even plot in my mind where the next air device is.  This was not the case on Monday.

Monday was a great day.  Woke up feeling good and rode strong.  Kicked ass on the way to work.  Flew home as well.  Until I reached the raccoon River bridge in Water Works Park.  10 yeards north of the bridge I rolled over some tree debris.  Cross tires should handle it, no problemo.  A familiar thump thump thump soud.  I stopped, hoping it was a mere piece of tree crap caught in the cleats of the tire.  nothing.  Gave the tire a squeeze.  It felt fine.  Roll on!

Half a mile later it was obvious.  Losing air in the front tire.  By the time I was 2.5 miles from home the bastard was flat.  Decision time.  This tire has probably a few thousand miles on it and is susceptible to piercings from twigs.  It was the tire that went flat two weeks ago.  I have no pump and the fixstation is 2 miles away.  There is a tire in the shed that I pulled out the last time it failed on me but I gave the tire another chance.  To hell with it.

I rode the flat for over 2 miles.  Videotaped the noise it made.  Yes, this tire will be trashed as soon as I get home.  Sad to admit it but I am experienced with riding on flats.

So yesterday the sky turned ugly and we were treated to a never ending rain.  Despite, as I mentioned earlier, having known about it I left my rain gear at home.  I was hoping that the fact I left my sunglasses at home would balance out and I would have a dry ride.  So I stayed as late as I could at work before mounting the FX, different front tire installed, and headed home.  I did do one thing to help with the weather.  My feet were placed in bread bags before I strapped my sandals on.  Keep the feet dry.

Dry ride!  Even stopped on the trail to add a layer because it was cold.  The trail was not totally empty and I saw a variety of bicycle clothing styles fromTdF wannabes to cargo shorts baggers to full face mask on a road bike.  These people had tailwind.  I did not.

But when I crossed the Raccoon where the tire expired on Monday the rain began.  Just a few sprinkles.  I laughed.  Same location.  Totally not prepared.  Two long sleeve shirts and no rain gear, not pump, no spare tube.

The rain stopped and I was dry before I got home.  Never soaked, always stoked.  So today I grabbed the rain jacket and put the baggies that the newspaper arrives in over my socks.  A light rain was happening.  Got to keep the feet, torso and head dry.  The rain quit after 6 miles and I set a recod on the FX.  Gonna be a bright, bright sun shiney day.  My sunglasses are home along with my spare tube  and pump.

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