Saturday, July 9, 2016

Des Moines Nice and the Flat Tire

Took the Vanquish out for a spin today.  Nothing serious.  Needed photos for Bicycle Ride & Seek Challenge on FaceBook.  Specifically, a photo of a diamond, AA or A+ and a white picket fence.  These I could find in my neighborhood and downtown.  The Vanquish has been sitting in the kitchen for a week since the Soho took over commuter duties.  It needs a new freewheel and rear rim and I've been putting it off until The Ragbrai is over.  No bike spending in July except for Ragbrai related purchases.  I missed riding it so I took it anyway, noisy cheap Chinese freewheel and all.

The AA photo was taken at the Alcoholics Anonymous building.  They must have moved since the door had been painted over but AA in Espanola is still visible.  Not really satisfied I tried the old A! Portable Welding business that was on Scott Ave but no joy.

The diamond was found at Diamond Oil Company on SE 6th.  I had to avoid the Color Run and watched as the "blue" station was in front of Diamond Oil.  Funny how most chesty women would get blasted on their front assets.  Cutting through the crowd I worked toward MLK and 7th hoping to find A+ Private Investigator that showed up on my Google Maps search for AA/A+.

After crossing the red bridge the front wheel of the bike felt wobbly and I stopped to check.  Flat.  I walked it to El Bait Shop but the pump at the fixtation was broken.  I wish Graham Johnston was responsible for it.  He'd get it fixed.  So I walked the bike home.  Just a mile.  Nice day.  Walking is good.

Before I got to MLK I remembered that I had a pump in the one pannier I had.  I also had the tube I extracted from the last flat that I had been meaning to patch.  No joy as the tire would not hold air.  Continue walking and cross the road and enter the area of Principal Park.

Someone rode past me and stopped.  "Flat tire, I can fix it!"

"No thank you, I am almost home.  Tube is shot."

"I got everything."

"No thanks, I'm fine."  He rolled on.  Truth is that I did not want to waste his time and tube.  He and his friend may need it later.  My tire is a used tire and I never did find the trouble maker.  Save that for later.  Truth is also that I did not want to get my hands dirty and that this bike will be going into storage until August just as soon as I get home.  Besides it was a nice day to walk.  Given how fooked up my ankle was in April I am happy to walk whenever I can.

Half a mile later I am in front of Tumea and Sons and Extra Innings or about  a third of a mile from home when a jeep pulls up and ask if I have a flat.  It's the Mobile Bike Repair service.  You may have seen his signs on the trail.  There is one by Mullets.

 "Flat tire?"

Here we go again.  "I'm almost home.  Got everything I need there.  Thank you."

I made the rest of the way home in peace.  Then I started laughing inside my head.  Where were all these people when I really needed them?  Like the time I got as far as the trailhead in Cumming and Anders had to ride home and get Laura to drive the Jeep to pick me up?  Or the time coming back from the High Trestle when I flatted about I-80 on the Neal Smith and walked and latter rode on the flat just to get home in the middle of the night?  Or the time riding to Craig's house with Dora on back of the tandem and I had to make the phone call for help?  Or all the times I had to make that call?  But today, I was sent several angels.  God bless them.

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