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Sunday, August 01, 2010

Flats Suck, But It's a Small World...

I was rocking on this little route, 30 miles from my house. I knew I'd be cutting it close as far as daylight (gotta get me one of those Magic Shine lights). Cussing the bugs and approaching the Gardner Road bridge over I-35 I hit a pothole so big my wheel felt like it would dig in and throw me ass over tea kettle. I never saw it coming with my cheapie Wal-Mart headlight.

I got to the other side of the bridge and when I-35's racket faded a little, I heard the hiss of a front tire going rapidly flat.

I was only a mile and a half from home (or so—my cycling computer says 28.4, shows 29.91 if I finished the ride), and rather than wrestle with the spare tube and my hand pump in the dark, I decided to walk it in. The Gardner Greenway was right there where I got off the bike, so I didn't even have to walk it on the shoulder.

And as I'm walking along, musing that if you're going to have a flat, having a flat easy walking distance from home isn't the worst way to go, and thinking about the Century I'm planning for next weekend — what if I had a flat fifty miles from home? And then what if you had a second one while you were still way out?

At a corner I was looking for cars and instead I saw a woman's face and must have looked startled (I guess I was) because she called out, 'Hey' in a way that said Don't freak, I'm just out for a walk.

She asked me if I'd had a flat, and I allowed that was the situation, and explained about how I was too close to home to jack with a tube change in the dark. Then she asked if I happened to be training for Bike MS, and I realized that yes I was. Really I was just looking forward to getting a ride in for the first time since Tuesday, there have been better weeks for having an opportunity to ride, but that is partly why I'm out here.

Yeah, it's my second year, a friend conned me into signing up last year and I did it because I knew I'd have to ride more than I probably would just knowing I needed to get in shape. Not only did it work, but now I ride pretty much every chance I get just because I love it.

So she asked if I was on a team, and I said, 'Yeah, Lockton.'

At which point she fell out completely. Turns out, not only does she know Team Lockton, her late father was one of its founders.

Funny the way things sometimes connect up, but if you're going to have a flat, the best way to have it is when it leads to a random encounter with someone you turn out to have a connection with.

And speaking of Team Lockton and Bike MS, it's not to early to sponsor me. You'll turn my self-serving workouts into a worthy cause and at the same time encouraging my behavior in a healthy way.

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