Thursday, November 24, 2011

Expect the Unexpected

It was with the best intentions that I wanted to bring my summer commuting bike home from work.  The temperature hovered at minus 10, and for the most part the roads had been cleared of ice and snow.  Perfect conditions to ride a bike home that didn't have knobby tires.

Uh oh

Within half a block I discovered that my tires, which had been leaking air for some time, needed some more air.  I pulled out my handy compressed air pump and filled both tires which helped considerably.  Except for hitting some brown sugar near 109 Street, I felt I had made a clever decision to ride home on an out-of-season bike.

Being eager to get this bike home (the Schwinn MOAB), I wasn't fully prepared for the windchill that assaulted my hands as I had forgotten my mitts at home.  The thin pair of full fingered mountain bike gloves I was wearing offered little protection.  I figured I could make it to Mountain Equipment Co-op and warm up in their lobby where I could also pull out a pair of gloves from my backpack.  I hadn't pulled them out earlier because I had discovered that they were both right-handed.
Ta Da! Instant left-handed glove!

With a lot of finagling, which warmed up my fingers, I managed to turn one of the gloves inside out to wear on my left hand.  MEC is used to having bikes in their lobby so I didn't stand out too much.

Crossing a bridge over a ravine, I could feel that my rear tire had gone flat and after pushing the bike to the end of the bridge where a streetlight cast an orange glow, I pulled out the compressed air pump and filled the tire once again.  Within half a block it was flat again and I knew my ride home was pooched.  I could have put the bike on the bike rack of a #1 bus, but I figured that I would still need to walk the bike home from the mall as the 109 bus doesn't have a bike rack.

I also ruined a fine pair of Sugoi bike shoe booties...

An hour and a half from when I started, I pulled back into the parking garage at work and vowed to be more prepared for winter commuting:
1.  Make sure you have all the proper clothing.
2.  If you tires have been going flat - fix them!
3.  Ride the proper bike for each season.
4.  Don't walk for great lengths wearing bike shoe booties


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