Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Trying To Make Lemonade

That's not mud spewed all over, that's sealant from my rear tire.
There was a great plan. Ride home from work the super long way. That would be to go out of Cedar Falls Northward to hit the gravel and cut across Eastward on Mt. Vernon Road to Burton Avenue and then back home. Great plan, and it was really nice weather. Not too windy, sunny, and a light Northwest breeze.

Great plans often get derailed, and that's obviously what happened to me. My almost brand new Gravel King 40 rear tire was cut down somewhere on the Big Woods Lake bike path. A hole, or possibly a cut, so big that almost all my sealant spewed out before 30 seconds went past.

I couldn't get it to seal, and no wonder, since the sealant was all over my bike and not in the tire. I resorted to a tube, pumped it up with my new pump, and then I decided to investigate what it might be that caused the flat tire. I vaguely recalled seeing a large object that I nailed dead on with my rear tire. It shouldn't be too hard to locate, I thought. Well, it wasn't, and I was not surprised to see the reason why I had flatted. The bike path was strewn with broken shards of thick, irregularly shaped glass in a 10' X 10' area. There was no way to not hit glass. I saw the chunk I hit which I had smashed into smaller bits. Crap!

So, here's the deal. Lots and lots of people use this trail, yet not one of them had the idea that maybe they should clear the trail of the glass? My hope in humanity was somewhat dimmed at this realization. Despite following the herd, which would have been too easy, I did the rebellious thing and I actually swept the trail as best I could. You know...... Because it was the right thing to do, maybe?

The Weeping Willow is always one of the first to sprout leaves in Spring. 

Wow. My countenance was not the best after this. Yeah, I was upset about the tire, for sure, but I was maybe more ticked off about people that don't do anything, even when it would be so easy to do the right thing. I had some steam to burn off, so I put it into the big ring and hammered along the bike paths, dirt roads, and back streets along the river to make my way home. Bicycles are a great medicine for what ails ya.

An Iowan bayou?

After several miles, my now cooler head prevailed and I eased back a bit, and even stopped to take in a few sights along the way. Spring is emerging all around us here. Yards have green grass, the flowers are out, the early daffodils and the like are, at any rate. The willows are green and sprouting leaves. Touches of color stand in stark contrast to the dead browns and tans of Winter. In fact, the whole scene will shift from dun colors to the deep greens and splashes of color from flowers very soon. It's all a bit early this year, but that's okay.

Soon I found that I had calmed down. I had a perfectly good tube in the tire now. I was riding. The tire was still working, and I had the satisfaction that I had done something to change the condition of that little spot in the world for the better. Sure, I was still a little sore about what had happened, but I was trying to turn my lemon of a ride, (to start out with), into lemonade. I know.....pretty cheesy, but it mostly worked, and that's what matters most.

19 comments:

phillip Cowan said...

I had that happen to an almost new Gatorskin not too long ago. A piece of curved glass flipped up and cut the sidewall so badly I couldn't even boot it. Luckily for me I was only about a mile from home and was able to walk it in.
I also wanted say that I admire your stamina in putting out a blog post just about every day. It must be a lot of work. My morning routine before work now consists of grabbing a cup of coffee and seeing what G-Ted has to say this morning.
I must say your site (and a few others)have opened my eyes to to possibilities of gravel. I live in the far west suburbs of Chicago. A couple of miles to the west of us begins the Great Corn Desert that stretches to Iowa and beyond. There's a nice grid system of gravel dairy roads as they call them locally. Most of the old family farms are defunct now but the counties still maintain the roads fairly well. So to make a long story longer I'm building a gravel worthy wheelset for my Raleigh singlespeed and I'm gonna go see what all the fuss is about.-Cheers

Guitar Ted said...

@phillip Cowan: Thank you for the comment and for checking out the blog. I am hearing from more and more folks that they are doing the same in the morning.

Hopefully that Raleigh works out for you. There is a lot to see out there, and a bicycle is the best way to see it with, in my opinion.

Tyler Loewens said...

I was actually just thinking the same thing the other day Phillip. Having done a very minor amount of blogging myself, I have a very small understanding of the effort involved. Also like Phillip I read it every day. While I don't always agree with some of your viewpoints (1X systems are the knees of bees), I always appreciate your honest Mark. Prost!

MG said...

I had a similar experience Saturday... Rode through the mad and things were better. Bikes are good.

Exhausted_Auk said...

I have kicked the remains of smashed beer bottles off the Ansborough bike trail quite regularly.

Iowagriz said...

GT - I am also a daily morning reader and while I am somewhat familiar with your town, I thought it might be nice to dedicate a post based on the map of the city or county. Don't show your house (maybe neighborhood), but where is the shop, where are these bike trails and what are your popular escape from the city to gravel routes. Just a thought, as you paint good pictures of your rides. I'd like to further imagine more of the general route.

youcancallmeAl said...

If you actually ran over the glass and didnt see it until you went back, why do you expect that others would have seen it as they went by?

Guitar Ted said...

Hey there Al. long time, no comment, eh? Show me where I wrote that I did not see it at all.

Thanks!

Have a great day, by the way. ;>)

john said...

I think I'm missing something too - I'm really happy for your transformative ride, and I'm sure you'll sweep off the glass before you ride through it next time.
John

youcancallmeAl said...

well if you saw it and ran over it anyway, I'm even more amazed.!

Guitar Ted said...

@Al- I supposed I'm damned either way, but I would submit that at 17mph it isn't always wise to make an evasive maneuver that might cause something worse than a flat. Maybe you had to be there.......

Not that it matters to you.

youcancallmeAl said...

OR , on the other hand, you DID see it but couldn't avoid it and ran over it and kept right on riding rather than stop and remove it which is exactly what you are complaining others did!OR, you saw it, didnt recognize it was glass and kept riding all the while getting angered at folks who had NO excuse for not recognizing it as glass! LOL!

youcancallmeAl said...

See my next post

Guitar Ted said...

Oh Al....

You are asking the wrong question.

You may want to consider asking these questions instead....

Could the momentum of Guitar Ted possibly carry him beyond the point where he punctured, and perhaps could that have been beyond eyesight of that point where he punctured?

Could there possibly be runners, walkers, or slower cyclists using this path that had observed this stretch of bike path Guitar Ted describes in his post before he arrived there?

Could it possibly be that if the answer to the previous question is "yes", then there is the chance that what Guitar Ted has written is valid?

Do I understand all the dynamics and factors going in to this post, or should I be asking questions like the previous ones in this comment?

Well, I'll be honest, Al. Looking at your history of commentary here, I would have to say that I have little hope that you actually would ask questions like the ones I am suggesting, but, ya know...... I thought I would try to be helpful here. I could have just deleted your comments, and no one would be the wiser. So, there is that......

Have a great day, Sir!

youcancallmeAl said...

Lol!! you got caught whining about something you yourself were guilty of and it pisses you off!! deleting my comments is neither here nor there SIR as you and I both know its true and that's all that counts.

Irishtsunami said...

I was just thinking that it has been a while since there was a conversation between GT and Al.

Guitar Ted said...

Hmm.... I do not accept your claims of guilt nor your general enthusiastic nature for spreading negative thoughts my way, Al. And as far as my comments go, you once again show complete and utter lack of both understanding and engagement in the matters under discussion.

So, until you choose to address my points, I will once again have to ignore any further comments from you on this post. Good day, Sir, and yes.....I really do mean that. You seem to be someone who tends to be very combative, accusatory, and negative, which I find sad. Putting that much energy into such negativity seems like such a waste. At least I think so...

Nooge said...

Hi Ted. Just also wanted to come in with some gratitude for your blog. I read it regularly and like to see your honest opinion.

I was actually just thinking this morning that I also disagree about your opinions on 1x, at least for my riding (mainly MTB).

However much I disagree, I will be much more civil in my comments than Al. I honestly think he's just a troll; someone who says things to make you angry just because they get a kick out of it. The best way to deal with a troll is to ignore him completely. If I were in your shoes I would not post his comments at all anymore.

phillip Cowan said...

Who the f*ck is this Al and why is he being such a dingus. If you can't maintain some semblance gentlemanly courtesy on a blog like this you should log off and go kick the cat or something. Maybe they need some wheelchairs turned over down at the nursing home.