That's Latin for "To the stars through adversity". That phrase has been rummaging around in my head for the last hour because it was the only thing that I could think of that prevented me from cursing my head off.Ad astra per aspera.
The afternoon started off well enough. Got out of work and headed over to the local bike shop to finally get my bike fit done. That went real well, and I was excited to try out the new fit on the bike. I wasn't planning on biking tonight, but I'm planning a big one tomorrow. At the shop I pick up some new tubes to replace the one I blew last night, as well as pick up a new helmet with a visor so I don't have to worry about the sun in my eyes when I bike west at night anymore.
On the way home I realised I was going to pass right by the Lancaster bike path, where I first started biking this season. It seems like so long ago. I decided why not; I'll just do a little 10 mile ride to test the fit, then head on home. I was tempted to leave my panniers in the car, as I figured "Hey, it's only 10 miles on a nice path, I won't flat!". Caution got the best of me, however, and I attached the panniers anyway.
4 miles in, I notice that my rear is bouncing like crazy. Good lord, I can't believe it, I flatted on a bike path. I can't believe I only got 8 miles out of this tube. But I am incredibly happy I brought my panniers at this point. So I get to removing the wheel and the tire and the tube. I check out the tire and sure enough, there's a little tiny piece of metal sticking through the tire which caused the tube to puncture. It was really wedged in there well, I had to get my knife out to remove it. I'm frustrated at this point because I'm overheating now that I'm not being air-cooled anymore, so I'm sweating like crazy. Little tiny flies are now swarming all over me so I try to go faster. I get out one of the spares I bought earlier and put that in, get out my new Road Morph pump and... well the screw top on the nozzle is missing, as well as the rubber grommet. I can't use it to pump up the tire.
I'm fuming at this point. I look all around to see if it fell off when I took it off my frame, but to no avail. It probably fell off miles ago. Luckily, I have my CO2 inflator along with me as well. "Be prepared" is my motto, and my friends always call me a boyscout, but damnit being prepared works. The proof is in the pudding. So I inflate the tube with a CO2 cartridge, reassemble the wheel on the frame, and decide to skip the last mile and just head back to my car.
On the trip back, I couldn't get my speed up. Stuck around 10mph for some inexplicable reason. I rationalized it by saying it must be because I'm angry and the tire change tired me out. But I'm disappointed because I wanted to see 16mph average on this trip. A nice flat bike path that I haven't done in ages, I wanted to kick its ass, but by the time I got back to the car, I felt defeated. The flies got even worse; for the entire return trip they were all over me, getting in my eyes, my mouth, my nose, swarming over my shirt. For every one I smacked, 2 more took its place. It was gross and I was just happy to be back at my car. I load up my bike on my bike rack, and suddenly notice that my rear wheel doesn't want to spin. The drive-side brake pad is rubbing against the rim. Well that explains the lack of speed I guess. The obsessive-compulsive in me wants to fix it right then and there, but with the flies swarming all over me I decide to just leave it for home. I smack off as many as I can and get in my car and drive home.
When I get home I look in my car for the new helmet I bought at the bike shop, but it's nowhere to be found. What on earth?! That's when I remember: I accidentally left it on top of my car when I was putting the bike back on the rack. DAMNIT. I drive back and find it by the side of the road near the bike path. Luckily, it doesn't seem damaged. But damn, I'm glad I'm finally home.
It's amazing how such a small ride can have so many problems. Makes me worry about the metric I have planned for tomorrow. Two flats in two days also makes me wonder if I'm just too damn big for this sport.
Ever have one of those days?