Yesterday I took a quick bike ride to Afton and back and experienced a flat tire for the first time. After crossing over the bridge on Eau Clair road, I turned onto the shortcut to River Road. As I sunk down into my aerobars, I felt a weird shimmy in my bike and began checking things out. Looking down at my rear tire, I could see it was in the process of flatting out on me. Great. 10 miles out from home, all alone, is not a great place to have your first flat.
When I stopped to examine the tire, I saw that it was not completely flat and thought maybe I just had a leak that I could pump periodically on my way back home and have some help or at least change the tube on my back porch sipping a cold soda instead of hunkering down in the gravel on the side of the road. I reached for my hand pump to remember it was attached to my mt bike....... at home.
Plan B - I loaded a CO2 cartridge and zapped the tire to full, then took off down the road trying to beat the inevitable. I was about a mile out of town when I noticed it flatting again. I stopped and got off my bike, weighing my options. I had one CO2 cartridge left and a new tube. I was all set to take a stab at my first change. As I was loading up another cartridge in preparation, a truck pulled up and a raggedy looking guy got out and asked if I was OK and needed help. It gave me the creeps a little, so I decided to just use my last cartridge to give me a quick fix, with one hand on my tire and the other on my pepper spray, just in case. (The guy was probably harmless but just didn't realize how creepy it is to stop on a road and talk to a girl who is all alone- doesn't matter, I wasn't taking chances.) With a full tire again, I took off and changed my plan to pedal like hell and get as far into town as I could before flatting again. The last fill made it almost 5 miles, finally flatting at the intersection of Sunset and Mineral Point, about a mile from my house. I took off my road shoes and socks and pushed the old girl home, about a 10 minute walk.
Today we took the tire into the shop, and after deciding it was worn enough to warrant new tires, we bought 4 new racing tires (Continental Ultra Race). Then we went home and I got my wish - changing my first tire sitting on my back porch drinking a soda. By the way, it took me an hour and a half to change 2 tires and yeah it pretty much sucked.
After supper, Mike and I took the dogs for a walk. I have devil dogs from hell when it comes to walking on leash, so I was fully prepared to need a rotator cuff repair by the time we got home. I had a new solution to try - the Premeir Gentle Leader Walking Harness. To my complete and utter shock, I was walking a totally different dog. When she pulled, she stopped immediately as soon as it squeezed her chest. Aside from a few short stops that nearly tripped Mike, she was very close to heeling. Needless to say, this is a highly recommended product. I might even try running with her again now that I seem to possess the secret formula to success......