Blood, sweat and (no) tears

My day started out perfectly. I checked the weather, put on my biking clothes, walked the dogs and ready to head out the door, I started to clip my pannier on my bike rack.

That’s when it all went wrong.

I noticed my bike bounced oddly while I was adjusting the pannier cord. With a sinking heart, I grabbed the rear tire and sure enough it was very soft indeed.

There was no time to waste. I took the wheel off my bike and pulled out the tube. I pumped it up but I failed to find any hiss of wayward air. I checked the tire for any sharp objects, but there were none.

I figured my tube had a slow leak, if I pumped it up well I would make it to work and then I could worry about fixing it later. But once the tube was inside the tire once more, I could not get the pressure above 30 psi. Weird.

So I tried to locate the leak all over again, dunking the tube in a sink full of water. But there were no bubbles-anywhere!

“I am going mad.”

I thought to myself.

“I must have put the valve in the pump wrong…or something.”

The tube went back on the rim, this time it was going to work. I knew it.

But once again the air hissed out as fast as I could pump it up. I was running out of precious time. Was it time to call someone with a vehicle to rescue me?

bar mitts

This is even a time trial bike, because bar mitts and aero bars are the same thing! I think…

 

I have a stubborn streak when it comes to riding in cars, they are always my last resort so I wracked my brain. Surely there was a way out of this mess. Finally, an idea hit me. I could use the rear wheel off my sister’s bike because her rim allows for schrader valves and I had several tubes with schrader valves lying around. I frantically got a tire and tube on the rim, pumped it full of air and then wrestled the wheel onto the frame on my bike. While I was maneuvering the wheel onto my bike, my hand got pinched. My reflexes kicked in and I yanked my hand free.

Blood, nice.

One way or another I managed to get out the door only 30 minutes late.

Now was my chance to make up for lost time. Usually my ride to work is a calm affair with steady pedaling on an easy gear. But today I approached my commute as a ten mile time trial, that I had to win.

I was focused on keeping my cadence as high as I possibly could but while I climbed a large hill, my pedals locked up. I hopped off the bike and flipped my headlight backwards expecting the worst. Mind racing, I inspected the derailleur. The chain was stuck behind the gears and a few violent tugs set it free. We were back in business. I called my coworker to let her know that I would be late, in case she started to wonder what had happened to me.

The rest of the ride was a blur and as I came to the final stretch I sprinted as hard I could, this was a time trial after all!

I stepped into the restaurant six minutes late. Technically, I lost the race but as I walked to the bathroom to clean off the sweat and grime, I was startled when I realized that the most prominent thought in my mind was,

“That was kinda fun!”

Next time though, if I have any say in the matter, I would prefer to skip the bleeding part.

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24 thoughts on “Blood, sweat and (no) tears

    • Thank you Anthony! When I told my boss the whole story in dramatic detail, she seemed quite impressed with me. So my coworker and I are plotting other ways that we can be impressively late to work πŸ˜‰ I love my job, the owners are very understanding of my biking habit!

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  1. When I’m running late, I don’t seem to be able to make up for lost time because all my energy gets lost in stressing over being late… not to mention the unclear head when I arrive. So I do the opposite and chill out on my ride! I live by the philosophy: “A wizards is never late … he arrives precisely when he means to.”

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  2. I am impressed too … That’s a lot coming from this commuter. Good for you for sticking to your guns, and still getting to bike in. I have tremendous respect for you.

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    • I just got them a week ago, every ride I love them a little bit more. I am so happy I finally decided to buy them, I think the first time I saw them was on your blog last winter and ever since then I have been thinking of getting them πŸ™‚

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  3. I had a friend who taught me that time is relative. No, this friend wasn’t Einstein. One time we decided to go to a movie. I told her we’d never make it in time. She had a super positive attitude about everything and she assured me we would. We got to the theater 10 minutes late and I laughed at her. “See..we’re late.” She just smiled at me. We walked up to the ticket booth and they guy told us that the projector has broken, but it was fixed now and the movie started 10 minutes late. She proved to me over and over that time can be bent or shortened or lengthened as needed with simply a good attitude, which you seem to have.

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      • How I see it is, yes, you bike faster and put more physical effort in, but you can call it ‘The Lord’ or Time/Space or Source or that Big Cosmic Bicycle In the Sky received your message to hold time back just a little. So, you worked it both ways. Nice!! It’s a miracle. I don’t know what I”m talking about!! I should go back to my cave.

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      • Oh my! Now my dogs are looking at me funny because I am laughing about a Cosmic Bicycle. I guess dogs don’t believe in a Big Cosmic Bicycle In The Sky….

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