Thursday, July 14, 2011

Don't try this at home

So, the weekend before last, I was feeding cats for some friends. They don't live that far away, so I figured I'd ride up and take care of it rather than driving. It wasn't a bad ride – 5.5 miles round-trip, which is about 8.8 km for you metric folks – and on Saturday, I did it pretty quickly, as I may have mentioned before.

On Sunday, I made the outbound trip at 15.3 mph, which is about 0.8c on a hybrid. On the inbound trip, I met a snake.

Well, it wasn't really a snake, but it hissed, and there is never a good time to hear a hissing sound. I pulled onto the grass, hearing the hissing sound the entire time, and as I stopped, I also felt a hot breeze from behind me ... no doubt about it, it was a flat tire. I spun the wheel, found the offending object, and removed it. There was no point in digging up the patch kit because I had no pump; I couldn't remember if my friends had one in their garage, so on foot, I continued the journey.

Anyway, blah blah blah, I get home, leave the bike in the garage, and make a note to change the tube. Today was my next ride, so I headed out early to see if I could manage it. I figured that 20 minutes would be enough time ...

It turns out that a) it's extremely easy to remove a tube from a tire when it's completely flat. In fact, it's easy to remove a tire from a wheel when the tube is completely flat, or at least it's easy to remove my tire. I didn't need tools at all. The wheel is a quick-release wheel, so I popped it out, worked it out from the chain, put the new tube in, tried to air it up, lined up the valve better, aired up it for real, and that was that. Five minutes, tops. It'll never be that easy again.

So we went on our usual Thursday ride, except we went through Fort Ben instead of to the market. This was unfortunate, as it meant no mid-ride snack, and of course I had planned to eat at the market. Whoops.

As you can see, it was a slightly different path.

View 7/14 CIBA ride in a larger map

There were some more hills, but that was good: I needed the practice. I felt a little weaker without that extra energy, but it was a good ride, and we pushed hard at the end. 20.49 miles, 13.36 mph ... not bad for having ridden only 8 miles in two weeks.

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