Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Tales Of The Night: Fat Biking And Flat Tires

Things started off just fine.
Well, I ended up going out on Saturday for a fat bike ride of the Green Belt. I got out pretty late after wrestling with setting up my son's fat bike with a 1X set up. (Needs a couple more parts yet, stay tuned....)

So, I decided I had better put on some lights and I headed out. It was chilly, but not too bad. there was a bit of snow in the forecast, but it wasn't supposed to kick in until later on. I didn't figure on being in that, but I did figure on getting in a bit of riding in the dark. Hopefully just a little bit.

Things were going well, actually, and I was making great progress getting all the way out to Shaulis Road before the Sun set. I figured on maybe having to turn the lights on for a minimal amount of single track. I could see pretty well all the way back to Ridgeway, but after crossing there and hitting Marky-Mark trail, things went pear shaped.

That trail is narrow, twisty, and undulates a lot more than the rest of the Green Belt trails do. So, my lone bar mounted light was not pointed where I wanted to see about 60-70% of the time. Yes.... I know better, but I thought I wasn't going to be out quite this late. I started to ping-pong around a bit due to my inability to see. Finally, I stopped to gather my wits about me. then I noticed it.......

Outside my little bubble of illumination, it was really dark.
Flat tire!? Yep. My front tire was flat. Bah! This was a bad spot to deal with it as well. Marky-Mark is tight and there isn't a good place to get a field repair done. I decided to walk it out to the meeting of Marky-Mark with the original trail where the Parks Department had a wide berth mowed through.

Here I laid out my repair items and I found that I must add at least one more item to the list of things I take along- A needle nose pliers and maybe even an awl or other sharp, pokey metal object. You see, I found a thorn by using my wool glove liner to wipe the inner side of the tire. The liner glove caught the thorn tip, and that saved my skin from being torn or at the least, poked painfully. However; I had no tool worth using to dislodge that thorn. Fortunately enough of it protruded from the outside of the tire that I could grasp it with my finger nails. Some gentle persuasion got it to pull free.

The thorn was removed so then I could install a new tube. The Crank Brothers pump I had really worked quickly and well. (It is an ancient first gen version of this pump) I was back together, but it was a slow affair as I had to be deliberate and careful in the dark so as not to misplace anything. The tire and wheel back together and where it belonged, I cleaned and repacked the gear. Then I prepared to take off. I was sure Mrs. Guitar Ted was expecting me by now, and it was getting late.

As I left, I was mystified as to what had become of one of my glove liners. Couldn't find it, but a search just before leaving with my bright light revealed nothing. I must have stuffed it in another place or pocket, maybe? Well, maybe you've guessed it by now, but I realized where it was and then a little later the bike path confirmed it. I had left it inside the tire casing!

Whump! Whump! Whump! All the way home, but at least I was able to ride home!

No comments: