Sunday, April 11, 2010

Betrayed by Tubes

DSC_5143The weather this weekend was awesome and perfect for getting in the first bike rides of the season. On Saturday I was excited to take my bike out for the first time and try to find some new routes to ride around the house. I checked it out and the bike seemed no worse for wear after a winter in storage. The tires inflated without trouble, didn't appear to be leaking, the chain was smooth, etc.

About 8.5 miles into what I was estimating to be a 15 mile ride (this was a new route so I was guessing), I noticed the back end of the bike seemed to be a bit squirrley. Looking down I discovered the back tire to be nearly flat. It wasn't the mathematical furthest point from the house, but it was pretty close.

Unfortunately I had neglected to bring a cell phone with on the ride for a variety of reasons that given the flat tire didn't really seem like such good reasons anymore. I did have an extra tube (good), but didn't have anything to inflate it with (bad). Looking at a nearly 7-mile walk home, I decided to try to make do on the tire and got another 3 miles out of it. Unfortunately that was all uphill which made for very, very slow going and a lot of effort. From there it was close to 4 miles worth of walking the bike home before I finally got back.

The whole production ended up taking an hour and forty-five minutes. I'm not sure of the actual amount of exercising during that time but I was pretty tired by the time I actually got home. After taking the tube out it looked like just a normal tube failure, probably from a pot hole or something similar, so at least I didn't miss an obviously failing tire before leaving on my adventure. On the bad side it appears that I slightly bent the back wheel by riding too long on a virtually flat tire though.

I did get to spend a lot of time outdoors and learn a valuable lesson about skipping bringing the cell phone with, however, so I guess it wasn't a total waste. Plus Linzy got a bit of schadenfreude out of it.

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