Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sweet Motivation

I spent the drive home from the trailhead this afternoon chastising myself for my carelessness.  I'd had to watch while my friends rode on after I discovered my second flat tire.  They had already waited around while I changed the first one and we were at the trailhead with the cars when I realized it was flat again.  It just didn't seem fair to make them wait around when I should have fixed it right the first time.  Why didn't I check the patch on that tube before I installed it?  Why didn't I use a new tube instead of one that had been repaired?  Sigh.  I returned home and consoled myself with the bounty from the pre-flat ride.  We had started out the day with a trip to the Oakmont Bakery.  Some people would ask me why I would go out to ride on a cold, drizzly, January morning before the sun was even up.  Well, when the scheduled destination is a place full of the most delicious baked goods I've ever had the pleasure to scarf down, my motivation is pretty obvious.

The only problem with going to this bakery is trying to make a decision about what to get.  I inevitably end up getting more than I should - but I can't say that I regret it.

This is only half of what they offer:

Now you know why I restrict myself from visiting this bakery to bike rides only.  I do not drive here.  I make myself earn it!  Besides, there's too much room in the car.  It's possible that the only way I get out of here with minimal amounts of baked goods is the fact that I have to carry it on my bike.  Usually that restricts what types of things I get too, but today I decided that even if it got mangled from being bounced around on the bike I was taking home a coconut cream pie.  The girl behind the counter was clearly skeptical about that plan, but when I opened the box the pie was perfection:

Who says picking up a pie on a bike is impossible?  So diving face first into the coconut cream was my first order of business when I got home.  After my second sugar rush of the day (you know that we had something to eat while we were at the bakery, right?) I removed the back wheel from the bike and commenced the repair work for the second time today.  I wanted to see what I'd done wrong with the patch so I pumped some air into the tube and looked for where it was leaking.  To my great surprise, there was nothing wrong with the patch!  I hadn't screwed that up!  I discovered the new leak and started looking for the cause.  The first time today I had found a small piece of metal wire in the tire.  It looked like it could have been half of a heavy staple.  This time I found a small piece of glass embedded in the rubber, just barely breaking through to the inside.  I kept examining the tire just out of habit (my mentor taught me well) but I really didn't expect to find anything else.  Boy was I surprised when I found another piece of metal.  This was also well concealed in the rubber and just barely exposed on the inside.  I had a hard time removing it and again had to resort to using an upholstery needle and tweezers.

I should have put something in that picture to give a size reference, but they were each less than 1/4 inch long.  Long enough and sharp enough to go all the way through the tire though.  I'm using Continental Contact tires and they're supposed to be puncture resistant.  They've done very well up until this past week, but perhaps it's time to start considering new tires. They've been on the bike for 16 months.

Although discovering that I hadn't botched the patch job improved my mood, I still don't know if I should have found the additional culprits when I fixed the first flat - or if I might have picked them up between there and when we stopped at the cars to unload the baked goods.  No telling.  Next time I won't be in such a rush when I fix a flat though.  It's worth taking a few more minutes to see if there're any other problems lurking.

No comments:

Post a Comment