Something didn’t feel right. Pulling over to the side of the road, a quick glance to the back wheel gave me an inkling of what was wrong. Once off the bike the visual confirmed it — my tire was going flat.
Of course it had to be my back tire, the one that’s a pain to get off, the one involved with gears and cranks and little hints I can never remember. Shoot. I was having a pretty good ride too. It was a cool morning but with bright sun. The breeze was strong (which should make this evening’s open water swim interesting) and my route had a few small rolling hills but I felt strong. I was glad for the challenge of the wind and undulation of the roads.
And then, the air started to leak out of my tire.
First thing was to look for where the hole was and I couldn’t find it. Hmm. So I pulled out a CO2 cartridge and tried adding more air to my tire, since it wasn’t completely flat yet. And then I heard it, despite the wind. The sound of air leaking out of the tire. I brushed a small stone away and there it was. But the tire seemed to be holding air. What to do? Take the whole tire off and replace the tube? Or see if I could ride on it?
I put in an SOS call to Mark who looked up my location and confirmed that returning to the previous intersection would put me five miles from my car. As long as I wasn’t riding on my rim, the bike should be OK.
Twenty minutes later, my bike and I arrived back at the car. The tire still had good shape but was a bit soft. Back home, I inflated the tire with my pump and again heard the slow leak. It seems to stop and lulls me into wanting to just continue to ride the bike, but alas, I know I’ll have to change the back tube.
While the shortened bike ride puts a bit of a bummer in my morning, it’s not all bad. Granted, I didn’t take the opportunity to practice changing a tire by myself on the side of the road. But I did creative problem solve. I did get in over 15 miles. I did work well and hard for those first 10. I will get a chance to work on my bike later (and perhaps go ahead and splurge on those new wheels I’ve been thinking about.)
My friend Nick ends all of his blog posts with the phrase, “today is a good day.”
Indeed, today is a good day. Even when things don’t go as I has intended.