This evening, I left work mounted on my clean-and-shiny, freshly-tuned, road-ready bike, complete with brand new clipless pedals. Everything was working beautifully: I was clipping in and out effortlessly, gliding gracefully along in the traffic flow, making good time ... and then I felt it.
That sinking ... well, really, that pulsing feeling we all dread. You know the one I mean — the feeling of a tire going flat.
Remember all those times I took Quicksilver off the road? Remember how I said he would probably make me pay one of these days?
Today is just about the second-coldest day of 2010 thus far.
Remember how I said the best way to guarantee you'll flat at the halfway point in your ride is to leave your toolkit at home, then reflect on how long it's been since you've had a flat?
Well, okay. So I was past the halfway point.
But I'm sure you see where I'm going, here.
The road bike is a cunning creature. He lies in wait, calculating, watching for that perfect moment to spring. Just when you think you've mastered him — or at least your new pedals — suddenly you find yourself on the side of the road with a flat tire, or a broken spoke, or (God forbid!) all the ball bearings from your bottom bracket rolling into the storm drain (actually, the one time that happened to me, I was riding a cheap mountain bike, not a road bike at all).
That being said, it wasn't actually all that bad. We had a light dusting of snow a while back, and it's been cold enough that it hasn't melted away — so the stretch I was riding when I flatted was actually very pretty, with the snow and the Christmas lights. Likewise, I was plenty warm — I dressed for the weather and had been cranking it up a bit of an incline.
So, ultimately, no harm, no foul. I lost nothing and gained a nice walk, and DD — who got my text telling him I'd be walking because I flatted and forgot my tools — came and picked me up as soon as he was able. I even got to say hi to a nice boxer dog who thought my bicycle was very, very interesting.
That being said, I'm hoping that Quicksilver is now content and will not need to pull any such pranks in the future.
On the other hand, QS has been my baby since May, and now he's in the basement sharing space with The Other Woman (the winter frame) ... so here's hoping that he's
not the jealous type.
*with apologies to the good folks at road bike review