Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Add one to the worst ride list

Today I had two meetings separated by about 25 miles; the regional Bike to Work Day meeting at MWCOG's offices in DC near Union Station, and the Tysons Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting at Fairfax County DOT offices in Fair Oaks.

The ride this morning from Reston along the W&OD Trail to the first meeting downtown was uneventful until I crossed one of the many side streets in Falls Church, possibly N. Oak St. Just after crossing the street I felt something under my rear wheel. I looked back and there was a squirrel lying in the trail; somehow it had darted out onto the trail between my two wheels and I rolled over it. It scurried off into the brush so I'm hoping it was OK; it was not a good feeling knowing I'd possibly hurt the poor critter. Luckily I stayed upright. There was no time to react.

After the meeting downtown I headed off to the second meeting. I had noticed earlier that my rear tire was very worn. I've found that the best way to prevent flats is to have good rubber on your tires. I was running late for the meeting and as I headed toward Cedar Lane on the W&OD Trail I heard an ominous hissing sound. Sure enough; rear flat. It was windy and I couldn't tell where the hole was and couldn't feel anything in the tire. Mistake number 2 (not changing the tire earlier was mistake number 1 if you don't count the squirrel incident which really wasn't my fault). Being in a hurry I put in another tube and rode away. I was getting closer but was already going to be late for the meeting. Then came the second rear flat.

Fortunately I was carrying two spare tubes. It appeared that the rim strip was offset, exposing a spoke hole which could have caused the flats, but I still couldn't find a hole in the tube (it was still windy and I was in a hurry). I did finally make to the second meeting an hour late. Did I mention that because I was in a hurry I didn't eat or drink enough and bonked and was dehydrated? This ride is definitely on my worst ride of the year list.


Sorry to hear about the ride. I had the same type of shifted-rim-strip flat last fall. I still have a roll of good fabric tape to replace the plastic strip in my tool box. Your post has inspired me to swap it out.

Incidentally I had my first mechanical failure of the year... a popped chain. Even bikes with IGHs need some periodic adjustment once and a while.
I just picked up a strip of cloth rim tape. Sad to say I had another flat this morning; different tire and tube so there's not much doubt the flats were related to the rim. These are the first flats I've had all summer.

Post a Comment

Contact FABB via email:

Subscribe to the
FABB e-newsletter

Subscribe to posts:
[Atom 1.0] or [RSS 2.0]

  Bike to Work Day 2015 at Wiehle Station

  Transportation choices

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?