Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Bicycle Likes Me


My bicycle likes me. At least it appears that way. Yesterday I was enjoying a nice ride out to Syracuse and back on the Barcroft. After a minor navigation error around a construction detour, I ended up on the 3-mile bike path that runs parallels Bluff Road all the way from Gordon to 300 North in Clearfield. It's a nice multi-purpose path, with kids, moms, dogs, walkers, and most importantly this time of year: stickers!
Of course, I was the proud recipient of a flat front tire. No biggie, I’ll just switch tubes and head on my way. Wrong! Some idiot, who shall remain nameless, had put a new tube in the bag, and not paid attention. Imagine my surprise when I realized I had two 26-inch tubes, and no 20 inchers. Sigh. OK, step two; fix the tube! So far so good, put a self-adhesive patch on, inflate tube and be on my way. Not quite that easy. I pumped up the tire with my hand small hand pump, and intended to use the last few pounds in my CO2 pump to top off the tire.
Unfortunately, I sheared the top of the Presta valve off with the hand pump. (note picture on the right, of a normal Presta valve) Luckily the plunger stayed down in the valve! Usually when this happens the remains of the valve eject leaving the rider dead in the water with a valve-less tube. (note the picture to the left)
Quickly I placed the cap on the remains of the valve and gently, rode the 12 miles home. I took it easy; no bumps, no drastic turns, and I carried the bike over the railroad tracks on Gentile. The tire was probably around 60-80 pounds and just a little soft on the road. Amazingly, I made it home. 30 minutes later when I went to leave on errands, I came back out to the garage to find the front tire completely flat. My bicycle likes me. It waited until I was safely home before the valve plunger broke seal. Amazing!

One extra benefit from this ride was that I ended up waiting at the railroad crossing for the new commuter rail train to pass by. The Frontrunner commences service next spring, and will run from Salt Lake City all the way to Pleasant View. It has been great fun watching the construction of tracks, trains, and stations along my commute route. That was another part of the plan for a second bike.
The mountain bike will fit easily on the train, and I can commute to work without the car! The Layton station will be only a mile from the house, so it should be feasible to give it a try next year.

3 comments:

Peter H said...

Jim,
You know that tube is a "keeper" still.
If you put a little spanner on the top silver bit of the valve, it will screw off and you could replace it with another little silver bit from an old tube.
Also you could have folded the 26" tube to fit the 20" wheel if really desperate.
Pete

Princess Pat from Zardonia said...

Jim,
The anticipated "bike plus commuter train" scenario should quell the criticism from the recumbent purists, surely?
Alles gut, here in Sunny El Paso.
Will read your blog upon your return from the Islands...
Your Sis.

Steeker said...

beautiful train. I love trains