Friday, October 05, 2007

Some Kind of (Awful) Record

Yesterday was no fun at all. I left for a 40-mile bike ride with two previously patched tubes and one CO2 cartridge in my seat bag. Just a block from home, I realized the front tire was way low, so turned around and went back home, where I replaced the tube and went out again. 2 1/2 miles from home the tire went flat. I replaced the tube, used up my one CO2 cartridge to air up the tire, and then watched as the tire instantly went flat again. Bad patch. Without air or a pump, I got to walk home.

At home, I replaced the tube with another patched tube (I have about ten patched tubes sitting around, but no new ones, I go through them so fast.) This time I grabbed my frame pump and a couple more tubes. Off I went for a 30-mile bike ride.

Made it one mile from home when, yup, another flat. This time it was a thorn. So I replaced the tube once again. A few miles down the road I noticed that the tire was squishy -- the tube had a very slow leak. I could go about 2-3 miles before I had to pump it up again. So I did this about three times. Finally, I stopped at a nice place by the Poudre River to replace the tube. As soon as I did this and then aired up the tube, I could hear air leaking. Argh! So I took the tire apart. Yup, another leaking patch. Apparently I got a bad batch of Park patches and none of them were holding.

So I pumped up my last spare tube without installing it first... and it leaked too! Now I was really pissed off. I was about 10 miles from home without a cellphone and in the boonies, and my only chance at getting home was to fix one of these three tubes. Two tubes with leaking patches weren't going to work because the patches couldn't be removed without destroying the tubes.

I went back to the first tube with the very slow leak and was able to safely remove the patch and apply a new patch, which I held in place for about five minutes before installing it on the tire.

Back on the bike again, things were moving along well until... yup, the tire was getting squishy again. I decided to keep pumping it up every 2-3 miles and just get home! Which I did, with a stop along the way at my LBS (local bike store) to buy five new tubes, some different patches which the manager recommended, and some bicycle food (GUs and Shot Bloks). The manager said he had heard complaints from another customer recently that the Park patches weren't holding for this guy either. So it wasn't just me and my incompetence, thank goodness!

Oh yeah, when I got home, 28 miles later, the tire with the slow leak went flat as we all knew it would.

So there you go -- five flat tires while riding and two more flats while trying to repair the flats. Seven flats over 28 miles. Yesterday was the worst day riding around town on the bike since I took up bicycling two years ago on October 12th, 2005.

Whew! There's no place like home!

Today's ride? Uneventful and fast!


Blogger John said...

This is just as funny the second time around.... hahaha.... (in a pathetic sort of way...)

Glad you posted this. ;o)

8:28 PM, October 05, 2007  
Blogger HRlaughed said...


For my other two readers, what 'J' is referring to is an email Howard sent him describing his awful day on the bike. J suggested posting it to the Big Blog of Shame, and Howard complied.

Now you know... the rest of the story.

10:06 PM, October 05, 2007  
Blogger SueJ said...

Okay, who's the *otehr* reader?

One of our club members' email and screen name on bj is scruffyhansolo. I don't think he has ever tried handing off letters to history teachers.

Today I chatted some with the *other* sixty year old who did his first century last Sunday. He was surprised at how good he felt afterward and the next day. I explained that's what I liked about cycling vs. running - the utterl lack of need for "recovery" because a long ride was just a long ride, not something inherently harmful to the body - and then remembered he's a runner at heart... but he'll be back to biking when his knees give out.

You better adjust your karma or resign yourself to HEAVIER TIRES ... I"m gaining on y ou :) :) :)

5:47 PM, October 06, 2007  
Anonymous BikingBis said...

Man, you're stubborn. I would have bailed out on the ride after the first trip home and cracked open a beer.

I'm done with flats. That's why I use kevlar-lined, armadillo, bullet-proof tires. I used to employ Mr. Tuffys. Makes for a heavier ride, but I pass a lot of guys monkeying around with their tubes at the side of the road (actually, that's about the only people I pass anymore).

10:14 PM, October 07, 2007  
Blogger Dave Moulton said...

I got a flat this weekend; luckily I’m in South Carolina. I caught six small alligators in a swamp, and joined them together by having each one bite the next ones tail. I stuffed them inside the tire in place of the inner tube. I had a hell of a time getting all their little feet inside.

1:33 PM, October 15, 2007  
Blogger HRlaughed said...

So, Dave, did they squeak and squeal every time you rolled over each of them? If I was an alligator stuffed in a tire carrying an old dude, I would surely squeak and squeal.

And getting all their little feet inside? That's what the tire lever's for. Duh.

4:21 PM, October 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Dave wrote that he fashioned a sew-up it would not have appeared he was joking.

10:59 AM, November 18, 2007  

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