On Tuesday night, Kevin G., Ted, Tony and I met at Southwestway Park for our usual hilly ride. We headed out at our normal time under threatening skies, hoping to get in 25+ miles and avoid rain. The ride started out pretty normal and we stopped for a breather at the S.R. 144 crossing. While there, we chatted about Tony's new tires and our experiences with flat tires, tire wear and our choices for tire size and brand. I commented that my tires had more than 3000 miles on them and my friends suggested that was probably about all the life I could expect... little did I know how close to the end they were...
We carried on to the big climb without issue, and as I went up the hill, I noticed an odd noise coming from the back of my bike. I got to the top, started down and saw that my rear tire was going flat. Hmmm... jinxed from the conversation I thought... now I have to change a tube! I rode on a bit further until I found a spot where I could do a quick fix and replace the tube. Not so! My rear tire had worn through and had a nice slit and bulge... now what?
We tried to patch the tire with a patch kit that Ted had from the Death Valley ride three years ago, but found that the patch was devoid of any stickiness and the supplied tube of rubber cement was, in fact, supplied empty. We all agreed that the best patch in this situation would be dollar bill... unfortunately, we all left our wallets in our cars fearing rain, and so no dollars were to be found. So we improvised a patch using the instructions from Tony's CO2 cartridge and a band-aid from Ted's first aid kit. We put in a new tube and inflated it... it held! We decided to turn back, with the thought that the tire may not hold and someone would need to ride in for a car and come back for me. We took it easy, and thankfully the patch held all the way back to the car. I think Ted summed it up best... "boy, are you lucky!"
So, yes, I was lucky to have you guys along... thanks Ted, Kevin and Tony for your help and support on the ride. I am very happy you guys were there... I'm not sure what I would have done if I had been by myself. I am also happy to report that I installed two new tires tonight, so I should be good for a couple of thousand miles... but I won't let them go as long as the last ones!
Be safe and share the road!