Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Flat Tire Night Ride

I rode about three miles into the commute home, then had a blow out. Problem was that the pump I have broke just after a few strokes. Hmm... Not good. I'm in a part of town that you drive or bike through and you don't want to stop--its a rough area; dirty, run-down, and full of low-life. I called Little Egypt for possible evac--but I wanted to get the hell out this area so I scanned about for a back-up plan.

Across the street, a fleet of tow trucks are pulling in and they're closing up shop (more like "chop shop") and they can see I need some air for the tire. I'm looking for a break in the haul-ass traffic for a dash across the street. For you Tucson fans, I'm on Alvernon Rd near Ft. Lowell (yeah, that shitty part of town...)

Tow truck guys air up my tire and its good; I wait for the chance to sprint across the street back to the bike, which waits in the parking lot of a seedy looking apartment complex. The complex is old and run down, and the inhabitants are arriving back after their day of what-ever-it-is they do. One young kid about 20 or so looks me over--and spits on the pavement, as I snap on the wheel to the Raleigh But we will have no chance for conversation because I am out outta there.

My tire blew, but when I changed the tube, I didn't find any puncture. I left it, as well as the piece of shit hand pump there in parking lot. That 20 yro convict-looking chap can have to make himself a bong for all I care... But my hub wouldn't work. It was getting dark fast and really there's no time to waste--a cell call to Little E and evac will be at the Rillialto River Park.

The sun is going down. I'm good and riding fast--no one is out here. The air is clean and the sky is wonderful to behold. I would never have seen such sights had it not been for a flat tire, Gentle Readers.

I have my small blinky light on board, and that's enough to get me by. As the sun goes down, it sure starts to cool off. Then on one stretch of the bike path, it becomes quite dark. Wish my hub was working!

Little Egypt arrives just as I do, and in a matter of minutes, we are on our way home. It was 6 p.m. by my watch, so my speed in the dark was good and 6 is my regular time to get a lift.

I discovered that the bulb on my Schmidt Hub had blown out as well, after about 20 minutes of checking every connection. When I removed the bulb and looked closely at it, the thin wire inside was broken. The the replacement bulb I've had forever was now in service, and with the new bulb, the beam of the Lumotec lamp was brighter than ever. It occurs to me that I should order a few more bulbs, and always carry a spare with the bike. What ever I ran over in the road, and then the blowout might have possibly been enough to cause the bulb to fail. Who knows?

I should also carry CO2 for a backup just in case the hand pump fails/gets lost/falls off.

Callie was very glad to see me, and I her. I threw the ball endlessly from the garage for her as I worked on the lights, then packed up for the next day's ride.

1 comment:

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