I have a flat tire on my bike this morning. It wasn’t flat when I left the house, although it looked like it needed a little air. I didn’t think anything of it because depending on all sorts of weather related things, my tires alternately need a little air or need a little air let out. But it wasn’t flat, the tire pressure was still fine. Making a mental note that I should check the pressure again after work, I got on my bike and went on my merry way.
About half way into my little over 2 mile ride, I noticed that things just didn’t feel right. The ride wasn’t as smooth as normal. My rack was rattling more than normal. Hm. So when I stopped at the next light, I looked back to see what was up. Well, the problem was my rear tire was NOT up, it was FLAT. VERY FLAT. Damn. This discovery was followed by a string of rather colorful invectives in multiple languages.
So I get off my bike and dig around in my bag looking for a tube and my bike tools so I can change it. I find the tube. IT’S THE WRONG SIZE. Apparently I’m still carrying around the tubes for my last bike, which had different sized tires than my current one. Damn. More colorful invectives in multiple languages.
I throw everything back into my bag, take off my helmet, and proceed to WALK the rest of the way to work.
I passed my friend K’s husband R on the way, and he gave me a look that was a mix of surprise and “gee, it’s strange to be walking your bike.” [K assures me he’s probably forgot all about it now.] I must have looked silly walking for that last mile into work on the sidewalk, rolling my bike with it’s flat tire next to me, helmet dangling from my handlebars, muttering under my breath. I FELT silly. And irritated. [Note: this challenge and my resulting mood is only made worse by the fact that I don’t get my coffee until after I’ve arrived at work, so at this point in my morning I am still uncaffeinated.]
And I’ll feel just as silly and irritated after work walking to the bike store to get a new tube. SEVERAL tubes. I wonder if they’d be interested in giving me a store credit for the ones that are the wrong size…or just exchanging them for the right size. Hm.
Such are the challenges of commuting by bike. The advantages still outweigh the challenges, but they don’t make the challenges any less frustrating at 7:30 in the morning before I’ve had my coffee (and we all know I need my coffee to become human).