Thursday, March 1

Encore Last Post of the Old Era and More

Rim Strip Better Than Velox
I really did not plan to do this. What, you might wonder, is "this?" Well I would LIKE to talk about the direction I'm going to take this discussion, and how I've noticed that the vast majority of the 722 posts I made before today have a lot of cycling educational content and how I'm going to be looking for volunteer help to pull this all together into a step-by-step way to transform people from being "people on bikes" to the higher condition of "cyclist."

But all that will have to wait a little bit. You see, unlike my usual routine of fun and safe riding to work, this morning was, well, not any of those things. It was, however, memorable. As I told my wife when I called - "I don't think I got hurt." I didn't know at that point how much further things would go.

Everything started pretty normally. After a mile, I turned on to the half mile of bike path that is on my commute. It is poorly designed, but I still view it as a pleasant interlude, because it is more pastoral than the rest of my route. This morning, on that bike path, suddenly I was flung 15 or so feet off to the left of the trail and my elbows were on the handlebars as I tracked through the grass. For a brief moment, I thought I might go over the bars. Luck and good bike handling skills got things back under control and back on the path. With TWO flat tires. Even a cyclocross bike handles poorly with both tires flat. Looking back, I saw no obvious cause for the incident. I hoofed it home. I had a spare tube but that wasn't going to get me back on track with what were most likely pinch flats - on tires that had over 100psi in them beforehand. Sure enough, I saw a large brown rock in the path that my mind had probably registered as a leaf. Lesson learned the hard way. Actually, it was a lesson learned once again since I'd fallen on that same trail during the 25 feet of it I ride on the way home. On Valentine's Day.

February 14, About Five Minutes Before My LAST Bad Path Encouter
Well, I made it back home and didn't even notice my wonderful wife's futile attempts to find out if I was in shock or whatever. Maybe a little bit of shock. After all, it isn't every day that you simultaneously almost get thrown off your bike and get two flat tires.

Upon my return, I diligently set about reducing any familial sympathy by grumping at anybody around. I also replaced the offending tubes. In my hurry, I pinched one of the tubes, raising my flat total to three. Two front flats and one rear.

One nice aspect of all this was it was fully light by the time I set out again. What's more, I swooped by that brown "rock that looked like a leaf" with fierce abandon. I even started go get a little cocky and snapped a photo of the scene where "green Escort boy" felt it necessary to yell at me as I waited for a stoplight.

What, Exactly, Does "Teal Escort Guy" Expect Me to do at This Intersection?

Well, it wasn't over yet. While I waited at the light, I heard a sickening "bang" and my rear tire lost its air. Apparently, that tube had gotten pinched just enough to get me about three miles before giving up the ghost. Score at this point was two front flats and two rear flats.

At this point, I was out of spare tubes and out of time to get to work. While I don't often give up, four flats in one morning got me to call my wonderful wife for a ride. I admit it. I'm weak.

Fourth Flat. I Give UP!


limom said...

Bad luck!
Or maybe some kind of sign?

Origin 8? is better than velox?

Steve A said...

I like Velox, but Origin 8 works very well on rims that had Velox failures. It is like a high tech rubber band.

Oldfool said...

I have used duct tape and had good luck then I was given some real rim strips and that spoiled me. Now I can't remember which rims have the duct tape.
My last crash still has me spooked as I don't seem to heal as fast as I used to. This aging thing sucks.

Pondero said...

That's a tough start, and I hope things have been improving since.

Trevor said...

Wow..! Four flats in one morning is real bad luck.
I think that I would have given up at that point as well Steve.
Hope that your day improved......


Khal said...

Egads. One of those days where you are left asking yourself " what the %$## was it I was supposed to be doing today...?"

Glad you are OK. I've still got a scar on my left elbow from the day last fall when I dropped a mountainbike front wheel into a crack on a ledge and went arse over handlebars. Came home and told my wife that it was my annual bone density test.

Now, shall we start talking about converting People on Bikes to Cyclists? I'm game!

Steve A said...

Khal, from the last sentence of your comment, you obviously didn't fall off a turnip truck yesterday!

cafiend said...

Riders transform themselves into cyclists when they decide to do so. Anyone with the desire will find a way. So anyone advocating for cycling needs to figure out how to "sell the sizzle" and address the concerns that keep people from embracing cycling more fully.

On the way we must never stop being people.

RANTWICK said...

Flats? What are those? I know I'm cursing myself to a series of them, but I've been ignorantly and blissfully free of them for going on three years! Hah! Suck it, freind 'o mine!

As for helping people become cyclists, bring it on... whatever you're up to, I'll send who I can that way. I'm too lazy to try it myself.

Tracy W said...

Well, you may have a record there. I've only flatted both tires at the same time once. I presume I ran over the same thing with both wheels.

No matter how much of a hurry I'm in, I try to make myself work slowly and carefully when changing a tube to prevent those types of secondary problems. Unfortunately, I can usually go many hundreds of miles, then once I finally do get a flat, they come in bunches.

Steve A said...

Cycling Savvy students got to hear about this as an illustration of the value of the rock dodge. Of course, that only works if you actually decide something NEEDS to be dodged. Brown leaves and brown rocks are easier to tell apart if it is daylight, or at least a little windy...

Ed W said...

Four flats! I gave up at three, Steve. You're a hard a$$!

Jon said...

At least you weren't rolling when the fourth flat happened.

Steve A said...

Jon, well, actually, after that flat, I rode through that light to the far side of the freeway and then wound up at the scene of the last photo. One look at the tube and I knew the only way I'd get to work with the bike would be to carry it, having used my last tube. I was unwilling to ruin the rim and there was no sidewalk.

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