New Lessons

My eyes dart from the road ahead of me and back down to the speedometer; eyes up, eyes down, watching the numbers climb as my legs drive through the pedals. I feel all muscles from my feet to my hips fire and I know I am exerting every amount of power within me to make this bike go as fast as possible. The wind races past my ears and blocks out any external noise. It’s just the road, my bike, the wind and me. I see the surface of the road in front of me is cracked and scattered with potholes, but I don’t slow down, until… thud. The smooth roll of my tires turns clunky and I can hear a distinct hissing noise coming from beneath me. Three different brash curse words fly from my mouth as I realize I have a flat tire. There is nothing worse than having the perfect ride interrupted by the unfortunate escapade of fixing a flat tire. The only other time I attempted to change a tire, I ended up in the bike shop looking frazzled and distressed, pleading for their assistance. But almost 10 kilometres from home, and with my cell phone battery at 2%, I was left to my own devices, which meant figure it out or walk home.
It’s amazing what you can do when threatened with the prospect of walking for the next two hours. Within about 10 minutes I had popped out the old tube, popped in a new one and was back in the saddle. But only for about 30 seconds, when I realized my back tire was also blown. Now when all the books, all the pros, all your triathlon buddies, and your father tell you to carry more than one tube with you, you should probably carry more than one tube. Not me, because I have always been one to learn the hard way. So it was off with the shoes and helmet, and just as I started to shuffle along the long, desolate road like a dog with my tail between my legs, a truck pulled up along side me and a very friendly looking young guy offered me a ride. I don’t think I even hesitated in my response. That would have been one long, dark, lonely walk.
It was my first flat tire, but it certainly won’t be my last, and I am just glad to say there were two lessons learned: charge your cell phone and pack extra tubes.

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