I had everything planned out.
It’s getting time to change my tires and I had prudently ordered new ones several weeks ago. With the great weather this week, I decided to forego the precious minutes required to change the tires and use them to ride. It was supposed to rain on Friday and I would swap them out then.
So last night after work I hopped on my bike for one last ride with my old tires. It would be a pleasant farewell after months of faithful work.
Six miles from home, I flatted. Oh, the irony.
Although annoyed and slightly amused at the irony of having a tire flat on its final voyage, I was not concerned. I am, after all, an exceptionally experienced cyclist, especially in the field of flat tires. I calmly walked my bike to a grassy area and began to change the tube. It was peaceful. Birds were chirping and the weather was nice. I even found a large log to sit on while I did my work. I was in no hurry. It is never good to flat but rarely are circumstances better than this. I looked up to the sky and thanked Madonna del Ghisallo (patron saint of cycling) for my good fortune.
I found the source of the flat, a nasty piece of metal about half an inch long. It was encouraging to know that my Continental Grand Prix Four Seasons only failed me after being impaled by such an impressive thing. I put my new tube in place and began to screw my CO2 canister into the cartridge which I would use to dispense the gas.
At this point, I learned several things in rapid succession:
1. Before screwing a CO2 canister onto its cartridge, you really ought to ensure the cartridge remains in the “closed” position where you put it 14 months ago. Otherwise, it may have jiggled open and all the gas will escape as soon as you screw on the cartridge.
2. It’s probably a good idea to have more than one CO2 cartridge with you in case something unfortunate happens to the first one you tried to use. Otherwise, you won’t have any way to inflate your tire.
3. If you don’t have another CO2 cartridge, it wouldn’t hurt to carry a small tire pump with you, just in case.
4. Life gets hard when you’re six miles from home with a flat you can’t repair.
5. Rather than thanking Madonna del Ghisallo, I should spend more time getting acquainted with Saint Simeon (patron saint of fools).
It is raining today as forecasted. I think I’ll swap out my tires tonight.