Ride In 6/29

I am not the first, nor will I be the last, to sing to myself a bastardized version of the Michael Jackson hit while I beaded my tire back into my wheel. No one wants to be defeated (especially not by flat tires). I ordered a new tire in a fit of pique/retail therapy session the other day while I was walking my bike back home and I'm trying to decide if it's truly necessary. I examined both my tire and my rim strip this morning and they look ok, though the tire had some nicks. I'm going to lay out my understanding of my series of mishaps and defer to the crowd (and by crowd, I mean the few of who read this) for any insight:
  1. Flat tire, June 20.
  2. 3 tubes purchased on June 21. Original tube replaced with new tube on June 21. One replacement tube put in my saddle bag, other tube put in my work bag.
  3. Pinch flat on Rough n Tumble ride, June 26. Saddle bag tube valve broken in trying to replace tube. Pinch flat tube patched. 
  4. Patched tube replaced by new tube from Bob's Bikes in Poolesville. 
  5. Puncture flat on rough n tumble. Bob's Bikes tube replaced with patched tube. 
  6. Patched tube dies June 27 on ride home. 
  7. Patched tube replaced by work bag tube this morning. 
So, here's what I'm thinking. When I replaced my first flat tire with the new tube, I didn't do the best of jobs making sure that the tube was securely ensconced inside of the tire and this contributed to my pinch flat on the Rough n Tumble. The puncture was just bad luck, so that doesn't mean anything. And the fact that the patched tube died after about 60 miles of riding doesn't mean much either. So, my hope is that if I did a better job replacing my tube this morning (and I made sure to massage the tire to make sure that the tube didn't stick out under the beading- something I didn't do before), I won't need the new tire because there's nothing actually wrong with my tire. But, we'll see.
It must be very difficult to drive a firetruck through traffic. I don't think it's a stressful as, let's say, actually running into a burning building, but it would still make me extremely anxious. Two fire trucks rushed by going the wrong direction on Glebe to avoid the traffic stopped at the light and I couldn't help but think how much more convenient it would be for them if they just biked to the fires. I'm joking.
Mazda 3, Jay Z, DC United window decal.I couldn't see if he was wearing brown flip flops.
Do you belong to a motorcycle club and also really like Greek mythology? If so, you probably know the guy I saw on the Harley whose license plate was HFSTUS. I thought that was pretty great.
Another reason I think I'm secretly left-handed (note: I am not actually left-handed) is that when I unclip from my pedals to stop, it's always my left foot that I put down.
Normally the flagsmen responsible for traffic moderation around construction sites are humorless and appear depressive. You can't blame them- their job is to hold a flag, an activity best performed by a long metal pole. But the guy I saw this morning at 35th and N approached his duty with a rare verve and a puckish joie de vivre that led him to wave his flag when I passed by as if I were finishing an auto race. He even said "checkered flag!" to which I replied "Yeah!" in the same ebullient tone. It was around this point in my ride when I stopped worrying about my rear tire.
I encountered a number (2) of exceedingly polite and deferential drivers this morning. A man who looked like Telly Savalas (may he rest in peace) wearing a khaki shirt emblazoned with a double chevron on its upper sleeve gestured me through the intersection at 37th and Tunlaw. He was driving a gold minivan with diplomatic plates. Who loves ya baby? Me, a little. And then another guy driving a white SUV waved me through the stop sign at the base of the New Mexico hill, gave me ample time to get through the intersection and passed me a little ways up with at least 6 feet of clearance. Politesse on the roadways is variable and when encountered, it should be broadcast. Bouyed by niceness, my final climb wasn't bad at all and I couldn't be much happier to be back on the bike today.


  1. Firefighters on bikes:

  2. Sure, but she's commuting, not rushing to a fire. Here's some actual fire service bikes: http://www.utilitycycling.org/2009/12/fire-service-bicycles/