I got a bit behind on the blog this week, and it started with Wednesday. After a lovely morning ride in that was overcast but uneventfull the ride home reinforced several lessons...
As I loaded my bike up at work to head home the bike looked fine, if filthy from the morning ride in the recently rained upon trails/streets. It took no more than two pedal strokes to realize my rear tire was nearly completely flat (should have seen it as I loaded the rear rack). I cursed myself for not having a spare tube, patch kit, or pump to hand... then paused and looked at the bike rack next to me. I'm not positive of the ethics of borrowing in a time of need but a nice looking racy Trek, maybe late '90's aluminum provided a pump which I used to get some air back in the tires only to find that it quickly deflated. Returning the borrowed pump quickly I set out for the nearest Bike shop.
Lucky for me Capitol Hill Bikes on 8th St was less than a mile away, the bike protested with every revolution of the rear wheel but it made no sense to take the tire alone. Once at the shop I was quickly sold a new tube and given the use of a floor pump, 10min later I was all set. (I was also gratified to be recognized in the shop where I had participated in two group rides in the fall... BZ to the staff at CH Bikes, I'll definitely be back!)
Almost immediately upon departure from 8th St I started to hear/feel a strange scraping associated with pedaling, I stopped once and couldn't figure it out, then continued on, stopped again, still nothing. Finally as I was just accross from my former residence at NJ Ave SE I stopped again and recoignized with horror that at least 5 of the bolts holding my inner chainring on my crankset were backing out and banging against the seat tube as they rotated past it... YIKES!
While I was unprepared for the tire situation I did have my Park multi-hex key tool and 5 more minutes of slowly contorting myself to tighten by 1/2 and 1/4 turns (clearances were an issue below the bottom bracket) I was tightened back up. An hour had now passed from the time I changed and packed up my bike at work and I was just leaving the neighborhood. Depressing. The other bummer was my confidence in the bike was shaken enough that I kept fearing that I was loosing pressure in my back tire the whole ride home.
Turns out the tube was and continues to hold well, the ride was fine and I even met a friendly fellow commuter as I turned off the trail into Del Ray on Commonwealth. All's well that ends well right?
Definitely lots to think about and I was happy to have managed the trip despite the issues.
15.5 Miles (177.25 Miles annual)