|Captain Carolyn gives Jerry a hand with his two flats.|
But experienced cyclists know that CO2 seeps through tubes much quicker than air, so the back tire, already soft, would do nothing but get more soft in the next few hours. Things got worse. Todd pointed out that my ready-to-mount front tire, while not having any glass or wire or stuff sticking in it, did have a large gash in the sidewall. Pook ding-fu!! The extended delay added to my frustration. I hate holding up the group. To ease my tension, Todd (after taking our picture) took the rest of the folks, leaving Carolyn and xx (I never got his name, my bad) to assist in getting me back on the road.
Not to worry! I carry a "boot" in my saddle pack. In this case, the "boot" is a four inch section of old tire. We let the air out, inserted the boot, and replaced the tube (this is the Reader's Digest version). Somehow, in getting the tire back on the rim, I pinched the tube. Now we need another tube and some more CO2. A rider not with our group stopped and offered his CO2. Thank you very much. This is getting old quick.
On the rare occasions when I have had a flat while out riding, I usually bring the tube home and do a post-mortem, and if it is just one hole that is fixable, will patch it up and continue on. The frustration of getting two flats, only having one tube, missing the gash in the tire, and putting another tube out of commission really put me off my game. When we got to the gas station turn-around spot in Creedmore, where the rest of the group waited, I just tossed the tubes. And, knowing my back tire was continuing to bleed air, advised Todd I 'd move on out, and they could catch me on the way in.
It wasn't such a bad ride back, about sixteen miles, but I took the corners cautiously, not wanting to roll the back tire off the rim. As I rode I continued to stew about missing the gash when checking the tire. The group caught up right before getting to the bike shop. I immediately purchased two new tires (there was nothing wrong with my back tire, but I changed from 700x23 to 700x25), and replacement tubes and cartridges for my friends who donated to my plight. Quite an expensive ride today.
Once home I washed the bike and swapped out tires and tubes. But I had to sacrifice another tube to the gods. I have yet to put on new tires without damaging at least one tube, no matter how careful I am. So it is back to the bike shop for two more tubes to carry in my saddle pack, and more CO2 cartridges, plus a new mechanism for the cartridges. The one I have is Spartan and difficult to use. I waited an extra day before posting this in order to let my ire expire. It hasn't. It will probably never happen again, but if it does, I'll be prepared.