last night's commute
There I was at around 5:45 pm-- it was around 65 degrees out—already dark—I was overdressed because the commute was cold in the morning. I’m going along at a good clip—probably the only dark stretch of trail on the first third of my commute. Then the handling starts feeling funny. A flat. Of course, in the dark, with no lights other than those attached to my bike. And, of course, I am riding the fixie. Have to get the wrench out to loosen the bolts. Have to remember where I put stuff down so I can find it afterwards. Changing the tire was no big deal. A couple of riders whizzed –
So, I am done, put the wheel back on and try to ride. I had worn out a cog and when I went to the bike shop to get a new one, they didn’t have the size I wanted, so I opted for a slightly higher gear (smaller cog by one tooth). My wheel is one that accepts cogs on either side of it. I had not removed the bad one becuase it was easier at the time to just put a new one on the other side. Murphy being who he is, I put the wrong side on. I got on and it started creaking and skipping and making all sorts of noise. OK—stop, remove the wheel and flip it. It is amazing how much more time it takes to do simple things in the dark where you can’t see. It took me a half hour to do all this stuff... :(
At any rate, it was a beautiful night—I did get a bit cold near the end.
The whole thing, in retrospect, was humorous, and just part of the riding experience. When I though of the alternatives—which were tiding the metro and the bus to get home, I would rather ride and fix a flat in the dark—Riding really does make a difference-
My bike lights are removable by pushing a little lever, which I hope would help in a similar situation.
Glad you got home!
I've never had a flat in the dark (knock on wood) but I'm sure it would take me much longer to change it.
How about a light for your helmet or one you could carry in your bike bag? I have a light I mount on my helmet in addition to the light on the bike. I've seen a few riders use something similar to these. I need to see where I'm going when riding the dark trails near the river:twitchy:
I had a headlight which was removable... but holding it in my mouth to fix a flat was the part I neglected to mention in my post... There is no way I would attempt my commute knowing I had to do it at night with no lights...
Originally Posted by buelito
We need a picture.
Helmet lamp- and it acts as a spare if the main one goes duff
Thank goodness it was warm. Flats at night in the drizzle and 35F temps seem to take forever to change.
I commuted home from Herndon at 8:30pm with a good helmet light. I did put on my arm and leg warmers and a very thin vest. By the time I got home those were a bit too warm.
You don't always need a light. One of my great memories was fixing a flat on a back road in NE Olympia, WA in the early morning hours. I just had a lumotec headlight powered by a dynohub and a rear blinkie but there was a full moon in the Western sky, bright enough to cast a shadow & some coyotes were calling as they hunted the fields nearby. I pumped up & got my wheel back into place with no problems, then rode on in to work. With no moon, it would have taken a lot more time to change the tube. Don