Ever have one of those rides when you wish you had never started?
For me My ride home from Church today was one. A little windy, but sunny. I thought it would be great to burn some calories before the big family dinner. So I loaded up the 'bent on the back of the van and went to church. After the service I got changed, got me bike ready and started off on my 17km trip home from Leduc to Calmar west on highway 39. I just got out of town when I heard a pssssst. No problem. My wife should be by any minute, I'll just be lazy and throw the bike on the van and fix it later at home.
15 min later no wife no van. Hmmm, better start fixing the flat. Some one honks their horn - I look up, its my kids, GREAT I am rescued; I wave, they wave, they keep on going.... Did I mention I left my cell phone in the van with my sunglasses. Sigh -
So I start fixing my bike and low and behold Sandy and Murray Greer from Church stop and see if I need help. Naw, I have a patch kit and a PUMP. I got it handled. Start pumping up the tire and for some reason the head keeps popping off the presta head. but I get the air in. So Off they go. Hmm where is Alice? I bet she already went by when I went down a side street to get to the highway. No problem. I got the flat fixed and head off into a nice stiff head wind. Rode about 9 km up the road, just get over the major hill an this route and so I stop for a sip from my Camelback. Okay I am slower than usual for averages but its a nice day.
PSSSSSSSSSSSt - aw no, the same tire went flat.
So I get off the bike, take off the tire and a lady on a bike pulls up and asks if I need help. Nope I got time and the tools I should be okay. So off she goes to Calmar. I get the tube out of the tire, find out I did not set the patch right and so I fixes that. Start to inflate the tube, no air with alot of pumping, what gives? Aaah, the pin holding the lever is out , I pop it back in, and start to pump ... no air, sigh, pin out, put it back; I do do this several times, getting a wee bit frustrated, I might say! Finally I look at the lever on the pump head, what! its cracked, so I flick it with a finger nail and the whole side comes off. No wonder I can't get any pressure, the lever can not hold the valve head open.
Well I wanted to do some cross training this year. I guess circumstances says it will be now. So I put every thing back together and start walking the remaining 8km home.
You figure that someone would have stopped and wondered why a fat cyclist would be walking down the highway pushing his bike, right? NO. I walked 5 km before I stop a fellow coming on to the highway from a side road. Asked to use his cell and called Alice to come pick me up.
By then I was tired grumpy and hungry, and oh yeah 2 hrs past my usual ride time.
So what did I learn?
1) Carry a cell phone on the Highway
2) Carry and extra tube - on the highway
3) Have working pump and a emergency O2 cartridge and inflator as a back up on the highway
4) If you are moving nobody will stop on the highway to ask if you need help
5) Get the wife to come and find me if I am over an hour late , especially If I forget the other 4 items
I hope you had a memorable Easter I did.