Saturday, August 11, 2007


Riding home from the Bethel School District Thursday afternoon I heard a strange "click" then "scrape" pause "click" then "scrape" pause. I pulled out of the bike lane into a shady driveway in front of a church. I spun the back wheel and sure enough, there was a click and scrape sticking out of my rear tire. The click and scrape was an industrial-sized staple with one pointy end stuck in the tire and the other bend under and up.

I figured I'd have to pull it out, but I was in a nice shady, safe spot to repair the flat. I gently edged out the staple and the tire went "pssssst" then stopped. Hmm. The tire still felt well inflated. I must have been light-headed as I actually thought I might have some special tire or tube that was self-sealing. So I pushed out into the bike lane and headed home.

A quarter mile further along "psssssssssssssssssssssssssssss" and the tire was flat. But this time I was along Highway 99 with trucks and cars zipping by at 55-60 miles an hour. And no shade. I pulled off the road and about 20 feet down an embankment. It was hot, dusty and dry with brown weeds and dead grass mixed in with the dirt. I longed for my shady spot in front of the church. What was I thinking?!

I pulled the wheel off and managed to get the tube out and replaced with my spare. I did this trying to keep my head in the shade of the 55 MPH sign I'd leaned my bike against. I reassembled the bike and felt the newly inflated tire. I was ready to roll albeit a bit dirty and a lot sweatier.

I checked. I don't have self-sealing anything including my sanity.

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