Ride In 8/24

My now slightly abated rage was from the second flat tire and not the first, which I believe was the result of the earthquake or at least that's what I'm going to say on my insurance claim. (The quake also totally ruined my Stradivariuses and Picassos, so it's going to be a considerble claim). Sometimes you're just riding along and you see that jut in the road and you know it's going to be iffy and then your bike pitches slightly up, with just enough time for you to think 'uh oh' and then when the tire hits the ground again, you can just hear it's not right. And then the thud thud thud thud thud and the air escaping and then the whole thing is over. Hilariously, I changed my flat at the corner of Clarendon and Rhodes, a mere 30 feet from a stocked Bikeshare station. Maybe I should have just locked it to a sign post and rode a CaBi to work. Those are at least reliable.
I changed my flat, slowly but reasonably efficiently. I tried to determine the cause, but the tube didn't want to take in air. Rather than patch a hole I couldn't find, I used my replacement tube (which I make a point [now] to carry in my bag) and got back in the road relatively easily. I examined the tire for gashes and there were some pocks, but nothing that looked like it was truly bad (I must have been wrong, but more on that later). Rim strip seemed fine as well. Some things to consider for commuting post-flat:
  • Ride along a bus route that gets you to work if need be. I have this terrible habit of picking up multiple flats in a row and rather than chance it on some trail, I stick to streets and streets with buses that get me to the office (or close). That meant Wisconsin.
  • Know where your local bike shops are. Because they normally have floor pumps you can use. I don't try to pump my tires up to full pressure with my hand pump because I'm a piddly weakling. Instead, I try to get the tire to a reasonable PSI and take it the rest of the way using a floor pump. I thought that the Revolution on M had a pump outside, but it didn't. So I rode down to CycleLife on K/Water. This shop even opens at 8 because it happens to be half-juice bar or something, so had my bike needed further repair, I could have done that. 
  • Don't try to ride to the bank at lunch. Because this is when you'll discover that your front tire is flat again for reasons you don't fully comprehend and this will make you so, so mad that you'll take to twitter and immaturely complain about it. 
I thought that I had made it to work without incident, but there must be some gash in the tire, hitherto imperceptible to me. I thought these tires were good, but apparently, I need something sturdier. On the advice of S., I've ordered some Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires (in 28, because I'd like to continue to be one of  the few people in the world who rides 28s) and they should get here tomorrow. It really wasn't my intention to order new tires, but I did so in a fit of pique and desperation and I'm just going to reconcile myself to the fact that it was a good decision. I haven't figured out how I'm getting home today. I'll try to patch the tire and boot it, but maybe I'll take Bikeshare.
Other than that whole saga, it was a beautiful morning for riding. Car traffic was light, weather was pleasant, earth remained mostly still.


  1. Are you saying that 28mm tires are wider than typical? I would go.as wide as possible.

  2. I have Schwalbe Marathons. Have only had 2 flats. One when my tire was punctured by a monster nail. I never figured out what caused the other. If that makes you feel any better about the new tires.