Friday, November 30, 2012

The one that began with a broken valve...

The adventure began before I even left the house today. I'm giving my legs a break from running for a couple of mornings before Saturday night's little 5K downtown, so I geared up to ride a few miles. I was up early enough that I thought I'd be able to get in 20 or more.

I had everything on, my lights in place, water bottle in its cage, everything ready to go when I decided to top off my tires. I put the pump on my front tire, aired it up to 100psi and popped off the hose. The tip of the valve came off with it. No air was leaking out, but I knew I didn't dare go for a ride with a tube that could suddenly deflate. It had to be changed.

I'll admit that for a moment or two, I seriously considered going back to bed. It was 30 degrees outside after all and riding isn't all that pleasant at that temperature. It's probably close to 75 or 80 degrees in my bed next to a warm wife. Tempting!

I changed my tube. I was up anyway. The tire came off and went back on easily. I had it done and ready to go again by 5:15, so I pulled on my skull cap and gloves and rolled out five minutes later.

I rode down by the bank to see what the wind was doing. The flag there hung limp, but it was laying on the east side of the pole so I headed west.

It was slow going on the way out. I was barely awake and didn't feel like pushing much. My cadence was low. I was just putting in the miles.

About halfway out, Don the Redneck, my wife's cousin's husband, drove past and honked. Crazy guy! At least he didn't hit me. A few minutes later, a trucker - perhaps one of Don's distant relatives - decided to say hello with three blasts from his air horn. I was not nearly as pleased with this greeting. It was totally unnecessary. I was on the far side of the shoulder and riding in a straight line. Grrrrr!

I was thinking I still might get 20 miles in, but when I hit the nine-mile mark I did some quick calculating and decided I'd better turn around. I'd be late if I added that extra mile out.

The ride back was a bit quicker. My average bumped up from 15mph to 16mph. I still wasn't pushing all that hard. I just had a breath of wind to aid my pedal strokes.

I rode into town without further honking incidents, squeaked through both traffic lights and pulled into the center turning lane to take a left onto Lawrence. A half awake driver decided he needed that lane too and began pulling over heading straight for me. Are people dumb or what? I accelerated around him and made it onto Lawrence alive and in one piece. From there it was a nice easy quarter mile or so to home and restored feeling in my frozen fingers, toes and nose. (garmin data)
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