Friday, January 18, 2013


Whoops, forgot to post this one.  I wrote it sometime in December.  

The night before yesterday I spent getting my 29er ready for ice riding.  I have a pair of studded tires (that I made myself using an old pair of tires and a bunch of sheet metal screws).  So I switched the tires over, and the frame bag with pump enclosed, and threw a spare tube in too.  I was ready to ride.

 OK so when I was 3 hours into the ride at the farthest point from our place I stopped to eat a snack of summer sausage and fry-bread.  When I rolled out to start heading back home I immediately noticed that I had a flat front tire.

Flats almost always suck but this was no big deal as I had a spare tube, and pump along.  I went to grab my tire irons out of my seatbag and was horrified to see that I didn't have one with me.  I had forgotten to switch it over to this bike.  A string of rather dark thoughts went through my head as I thought of all the miles I'd be pushing my bike home just because I had forgotten the measly tire iron.  I threw on my spare windbreaker that standard to bring along on every bike ride - but of course a tool kit is also a standard thing to bring along so I guess that "standard" is about meaningless - and started walking.

Probably 15 year ago I remember reading an article (I believe it was in Dirt Rag - as if that matters much) that had a little tidbit that's stuck with me all those years.  I have no idea why it did, I've never used that tidbit before, I have no idea what the article was about, it's just one of those things that sticks with you.  Usually I've got a memory like a steel sieve but this clung to my brain.  The tidbit is: if you find yourself out in the middle of nowhere without a tire iron try using your skewer.  I did this and it worked great.
I've got to think that the chances of a person remembering a pump and spare tube while forgetting a simple tire iron would be rather slim but hell, that's exactly what I did yesterday. 

I pumped it up and was off.  And boy was I relieved - it would have probably been a 20 mile hike home.  I shudder to think about it. 

It was probably another 2 1/2 hours home.

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