So tonight Joy and I did the Ft Lauderdale Urban ride on our tandem. It's a 20 mi ride with 4 stops to regroup, and boasts 20 - 25 riders on all types of bikes. It's a fun and social group that we have enjoyed riding with for a few years now, on both our 1/2 bikes and the tandem. Joy's broken foot last summer has dictated that we need to ride the tandem to keep her "in the mix." By summer's end, she'll be back in single shape. There's another couple who ride a tandem now and again.
Anyway, we were all lined up for the start when the tell-tale "gunshot" betold a blow out. Everyone looked around and squeezed tires to see who it was. No flats. Finally someone noticed the bulge in my front tire. There it was. The tube was peeking out between the rim and the bead. It had popped and resealed.
I quickly pulled the wheel and got to work on the tube. With help we had the tire change and back on the bike in no time, using the tube from my tool bag.
I guess here is a good time to fill in some of the facts. I had recently pulled the 28mm tires off my wife's 1/2 bike and swapped them for the 23s I had on the Tandem. All went well, except for 2 things: failing to properly inspect the seating of the tire on the tandem front wheel, and failing to changed the spare tubes between the two bikes.
Sooooo, you guessed it. When I put the tube from the tandem's tool bag on the flatted tire, it was still the 18-23mm tube from when I was running the 700 x 23s. Doh!
Well, 10 miles into the ride and fortunately not on the 30+ mph hill descent, the front tube failed. So in the middle of the Ft Lauderdale beach A1A run, with a great little tail wind, we pulled of to change the front tire AGAIN. When I pulled it I realized it was the wrong size. Dumb!
We knew that about 3/4th of the group was ahead of us at the next rest stop/meet up at the boardwalk. The rest came by and asked if we were OK. I said yes, as I was putting on my last tube. Ernie the sweep came by and stopped. I finished putting the tube in and started inflating only to hear the sound that makes your heart sink. An air leak. I gave Ernie the keys to my van, and he was off to get it and come back to puck us up. Just before he was out of earshot, Joy picks up a new tube and says "what's this tube?" We realized just in that I had put the bad 1st tube back in. (Being a good citizen I was carrying until I found a trash can) We called Ernie as I ripped out the tube and installed the new tube.
We were soon on our way, good as new. Better actually.
The only other problem was that I had turned off my Garmin when we sent Ernie off to get the van, and I forgot to restart when we got riding again. So I missed recording our heroic efforts on the last 10 mi of the ride.
None the less, it was a beautiful night for riding and we had a few unexpected laughs.
So, once bitten, twice shy. Twice bitten, trice as happy?