September 9, 2009

Of Clown Shoes and Blown Tubes – Commute Challenge Update

Since Monday was a holiday, yesterday kicked off Week #2 of the Bike Commute Challenge. I had multiple meetings during the day, so I was looking forward to logging some good miles for work. Since my wife calls my Bike Friday folding bike my “Little Clown Bike,” I figured I’d wear my shoes that always feel a little like clown shoes for a perfect match. Still figuring out this whole iPhone video formatting, so this is a little funky with the vertical format.

Clown Shoes On My Clown Bike from nwduffer on Vimeo.

I headed out for a meeting with a business over in the Industrial Parkway area (which is only a couple miles from my office) and all the way in I kept thinking “if I make it out of this without a flat, it will be a miracle.” But, make it there without a flat, I did. Two hours later I was headed back to the office, and just got off Industrial and turned onto Cherry Ave, when I heard that nasty pop and hiss that no cyclist likes to hear, and went flat instantly.

Back at the office, the Bike Friday with its first flat.

Back at the office, the Bike Friday with it's first flat.

It was at this moment that I realized I had broken one of my own rules for the month, and I was not prepared. I had seen my spare tube sitting on my desk at home and thought “I need to put that in my bag,” but of course didn’t. No patch kit on hand, and it wouldn’t have mattered, I didn’t have a pump or Co2 with me, so I started walking. Only about 1.5 miles back to the office, so no big deal…call it cross training. On the way I texted a couple co-workers just in case they happened to be heading to lunch and wanted to swing by my way, but didn’t hear back from either until after lunch, so I just hoofed it back.

I’ve had one of the Torelli’s sitting in my office for months, with a pump attached to the frame, so I pumped up the tires on it, and rode it to my next errand. Snagged a late lunch, grabbed my spare tube, and headed back to the office. If you can’t have a spare tube handy, the next best thing is a spare bike I guess! Of course, as it turns out my Bike Friday wheels are 18″ and my spare tube is 20″! I went ahead and stuffed it in anyway, pumped it up and just kept the pressure to about 65 lbs instead of cranking it up to 100, and made it home fine.

I’m still batting 1000 in the bike commute challenge for the month. I know we’re about to get some rain soon, but I’m determined to make it the whole month, and possibly beyond!

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