If you had a worse day than me today, I am so sorry. It had to have been horrendous. Just remember…tomorrow will have a real hard time being worse.
My day started off great. I had nearly 20 miles complete by 10AM. Couple heavy rain showers but I just got wet shoes and socks. Then, I had a flat. You know it had to be the rear tire.
Didn’t have a tube or tools with me to repair. Left them in Kris’ car because there was no way I could have another flat this soon.
Remember clipping a small piece of metal laying on road, sending it flying, and hoping that didn’t damage anything.
2 minutes later I’ve got a flat on the rear tire and nothing to repair it with. Luckily there was a bike shop 3.2 miles away. Called Kris and she was more than an hour away. I decided I could walk and wheel the bike there faster.
Turns out pushing a bike with a flat tire is kind of difficult. Finally get to shop. Closed…permanently.
Plan B, Kris heads to pick me up and drive me to another shop 2 miles away. By the time we get there it’s noon. They tell me they can have me on the move in an hour. Cool. Kris can resume shopping and I would just wait at shop.
12:45 we’re ready to roll. Make it 2.3 miles down the road. Another flat. Same tire. What the????
Kris is a ways away. Bike shop has no one with vehicle that can get me. Wheel the bike 2.3 miles back to shop. My wet shoes and socks were really hurting the bottom of my feet.
Get back to shop. Kris met me there. Shop gave me some explanation of what happened. Something about inside of rim. Way over my head. They repaired again. No charge.
Kris drove me down the road to spot where I got flat. Dropped me off and we agreed she would stay close for a while.
3 miles further. Another flat. Same tire. This time I heard the tube pop and air rush out. I’m beyond frustrated. Kris was there to pick me up in 5-10 minutes. Back to bike shop.
They were extremely embarrassed to see me walk back in the door with Gerty. Last one was their fault. This time it was a faulty tube. Tore apart at seam.
They fixed right away. Again no charge plus they gave me a spare tube. I was almost thinking I’d be better off changing myself.
Kris takes me back to the last stoppage spot. She’s going to stay close again. I have no confidence that there won’t be another flat. I know if that happens, I’m going to explode along with the tube.
We had originally planned to meet Mark Grode, a friend from Bristol, for lunch in Titusville at 2PM. Before 3 flats, it was looking like I’d be there about 1. It was now 3:15 and we were still 40 miles away. 5 miles in more than 5 hours. Not good.
Kris had been keeping Mark apprised of this debacle. We decided to meet for dinner at 6. I would just ride as far as I could in 2.5 hours. Kris would pick me up and we’d call it a day.
Made 35.5 miles and Kris picked me up. 25 miles short of where I hoped to finish the day.
We finally met Mark. Had a great dinner and fun conversation. Mark bought us dinner. Thanks so much, Mark. You helped put some smiles on the end of a crappy day.
I was really fortunate that this episode had Kris with me. It would have been even worse by myself. Plus she got to see my agony up close and personal. She might have even felt a tiny bit sorry for me!!
Going to try to make up some lost miles tomorrow.