No, life hasn’t sucked for me the past two years, eleven months. Well, not much anyway. I’m referring to the ride I took on Saturday.
Early Saturday morning, not early enough however, I headed out for a fifty-mile bike ride. Because I am a creature of habit and wanted to start and end at home I was determined to figure out how to tack on eight additional miles to my forty-two mile Stone Mountain ride.
The ride was going fairly well even though I made a few miscues along the way. I reached the point on Hosea Williams (née Boulevard) where I’d normally turn left and head for the homestead but rather than doing that I decided to go straight in order tack on the eight miles by going around Grant Park.
Those of you with a sense of geography will quickly realize that it’s hard to add eight miles between East Atlanta and Grant Park. Really. Fucking. Hilly. Hard. I zigged and zagged, eventually heading down past ITP-Reader Martha’s street to Custer, turning right, suffering on the hills along it, turning right onto back onto Boulevard (Fulton County’s Boulevard), and suffering on the hill along it. At the top I looked down and saw 47.5 miles on my iPhone’s Wahoo Fitness app, and thought “C’mon man, only 2.5 miles to go!” That’s when I hit the rock with my rear tire, the rock I never saw. But wait! I think I survived that miscue because I could still ride! A few blocks later I turned the corner onto Berne (forgetting the major fucking hill that that street provides). A block later heard “pfffft” and had the literal sinking feeling of my rear tire going flat.
Had it been the front tire gone flat it would have been a no-brainer to pop the wheel off and replace the tube. But the rear wheel involves messing with the grease of the chain. I shouldn’t have been such a neat-freak because it led me to think “Well, I’m not far from home. I’ll just walk.” “Besides”, I thought, “why waste a CO2 cartridge when I’m so close to home?”.
It’s at that time I made perhaps the worst decision of the day.
Those of you who have cycled in road shoes know that it sucks to walk in them (it’s one of the reasons that ITP-Reader Barb buys mountain bike shoes), and I had just replaced the cleats on the bottom of mine and didn’t want to ruin them (because they are made out of plastic). So what did I do? I started walking barefoot.
I have tender feet.
Let it be known that the Goodness of Mankind in the Grant Park / Ormewood / East Atlanta area is alive and well. No fewer than four people asked me if I was okay, one of whom had bike tools to offer me, and two of whom offered me a ride home. I should have been born under the Chinese Zodiac for mule, because that’s how stubborn I am. I thanked each and everyone profusely and kept on my way walking barefoot.
After a handful of blocks feeling that I always had a stone on the bottom of my feet I looked down in horror — blisters on the balls of my feet. I suffered for another block before it became apparent that I needed to suck it up and replace the tube because the damage to my feet was bad, and was bound to get much worse.
I found a patch of grass, to spare my feet, and began the process of tube replacement. As expected my hands became covered in grease removing the rear wheel from the bike. The tire came off without much effort, and I pulled the tube out. Inspecting the tube I discovered that all this time I’ve been riding with a patched tube! (IDIOT!) [note: while I’ve yet to inflate the defective rubber I’m fairly certain that the state of the patch is what brought me down.]
Did you know that CO2 cartridges come in two flavors — threaded, non-threaded? I’ll explain now why the former will be the only type that I buy in the future.
After ensuring that the tire contained no sharp items that caused the puncture I placed the new tube inside of it. In my history of tube replacement I’ve found it beneficial to partially-inflate the tube to lessen the chance of a pinch flat when fully inflating the new tube. I put a thread-less CO2 cartridge into the holder and screwed on the holder’s cap (this process pierces the CO2 cartridge so that it can be used). But the the cap didn’t screw on well, so I pulled it out from the holder with the cartridge attached. As soon as I touched the cartridge it dislodged itself from the cap and shot off — toward me! Fortunately for me it hit me in the chest with nothing more than a glancing blow before continue its journey into the taller grass behind me. I realized how lucky I was that the cartridge didn’t hit me elsewhere (like my face), or do some damage to a nearby car. But then I realized that I just lost my source for filling the tube. Was I going to have to walk after all?
I was never a Boy Scout, but I am usually prepared. I had another CO2 cartridge in my bag, this one of the threaded variety. I screwed it into the cap and put the wheel back into the frame. I managed to put enough CO2 into the tube to ride home — hurting feet and all.
My feet are still suffering this morning, causing me to declare today to be another mandatory rest day because even the thought of cycling today hurts them.
Two Socks Enter, One Exits
After a soak in the tub and an hour’s nap I hobbled around on hurting feet and went to the lavanderia Saturday afternoon. While there I managed to lose of the socks that I wore on Saturday’s ride. Good riddance!
Hey, I Know You
Here’s something strange.
On Saturday morning I ate a chunk of bread with butter and had a glass of cranberry juice for breakfast. I rode 47+ miles, consuming water and three blocks from a package of Clif Blocks. Upon (finally) returning home I had a 7.5-ounce Coke. I was not hungry again until after completing laundry, sometime around 6pm.
I rewarded myself with a dinner at El Pollo Norteño. As I entered the building I saw one of my coworkers eating there. I walked up said hello and confused him due to the lack of context.
We sat and ate dinner together, more accurately I intruded upon his meal and ordered my own while sitting there talking.
After dinner I drove home and started listening to “Jazz Classics” on WABE and spent the rest of the evening on the couch.
While the day was not optimal it did provide much blogging material.
You Can Start Calling Me An “Overpaid Geek”
Assuming that you’ve not been doing this already, of course.
My Apple Watch is due to be delivered this week, perhaps even today.
If I needed to justify this purchase to anyone I could make the argument that I “need” one in order to start developing apps for it — especially if the rumored Software Developer Kit gets announced at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference next week.