Sunday, March 25, 2007

California Bike Tire Blues

After last weekend's insane 81-mile ride to Santa Cruz and back I thought that this week I should do a ride that wouldn't take as long and leave me more time for the other stuff I needed to do today. So I chose my 50-mile Dumbarton Bridge loop (it is much easier than the Santa Cruz ride because it's mostly flat, while the Santa Cruz ride makes you climb up and down from 1800 feet twice). It's been a while since I lost an inner tube, and it's always a good idea to carry a spare with you, so I did.

Now the Santa Cruz ride involved lots of really bumpy and treacherous roads. I was surprised I didn't blow up a tube on a few of the bumps I nailed. The Dumbarton Bridge loop is all through populated areas, so it should be much smoother, right? That's what I thought, at least. When my rear tire started losing air shortly before getting to the bridge I was a little annoyed, but not surprised; that tube had lasted quite a while, and California street-sweeping crews tend to sweep all the road debris into the bike lanes and just leave them coated in a layer of broken glass and rusty nails, so I must have hit something at some point. But I know exactly the moment when I broke the second tube, on the bridge, on a little black circular piece of something that must have fallen out of some truck heading from its lot in East Palo Alto to a construction site in Fremont. It made a loud popping noise.

So with no more ways to repair the tire (I don't carry a patch kit with me because I can never find the holes in inner tubes) I had to continually fill the tire and ride until it had lost half its air, fill it back up and repeat. This got me about halfway home, at which point it was losing air to fast to even do that. So I walked the last 10 miles back home. The whole time wishing I'd brought two bucks with me so I could catch a bus or something.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

Oh man! I think I would just sit on the side of the road and cry until someone not sketchy offered me a ride :-)