Saturday, May 27, 2006

Memorial Day Ride Lessons

What's the point of being ordained if you don't listen to the higher powers that try to contact you? After losing five spokes on my mountain bike and discovering I needed a new rim, I busily cleaned up my road bike. The next morning the back tire on the road bike was flat. I changed it, noticing the worn tread, but not remembering how bad it was from overuse a few years ago. Oh yea, I was given portents and signs aplenty...flat tires, broken spokes, bent rims...yet, like a certain apostle, I denied no less than three times.

When I finally arrived at the TCBC Memorial Ride, did I find myself standing in front of the 48 mile sign up sheet? No, I was standing in front of the 29 mile sign up sheet. So once again, I denied, and found the 48 mile sheet, despite my concerns about riding a bike that hadn't seen any real use in 3 years.

Nice ride, by the way, there had to be at least 200 people there (at least - the place was covered with bikes). We filled up the whole Snail Lake Park parking lot, and spilled over into the side streets and the lot down the hill near the beach. I don't think anyone who had scheduled use of the park shelter was going to be happy about the situation.

For my thrice denial (1.) broken spokes, bent rim, 2.) flat tire in the morning, 3.) 29 mile ride sign up sheet) I was thrice punished. At the 20 mile mark, I lost the first tube, the one on the bike. It was then that I saw the great big hole in the middle of the tread, meaning I was pretty much riding on the tube at times. At the 34 mile mark I lost the second tube. Note, that at this point, I would have been back to my car, safe and sound, if I had gone on the 29 mile ride. Engergetically I ripped up a bunch of grass and stuffed it inside the tire, packing it against the hole in an attempt to put something between the tube and the road. It was then that I made friends with a nice woodtick I later picked off at lunch. That's not to say I ate him - I just set him loose on the table so Eryn could see how girl ticks wear necklaces and boy woodticks wear suspenders. At the 41 mile mark, I lost the third and last tube, a full 7 miles from the end of the ride and my car. To flaggellate myself, much in the spirit of St. Thomas More, I took off my bike shoes and, in my socks, walked the mile or so to the junction of 35E and Hwy. 96 so that Pooteewheet could easily locate me. My feet didn't fully blister - but they sting - the road to 35E was hot with the power of evil...and the sun.

Various pilgrims called out to me along the way - offering me respite from my predictament, noting that where I tread, they had tread before. Yet, when I looked back, there were only my footprints and wheeltracks (that'd be a better parable if there were only the bike tracks). On a positive note, it was pouring everywhere but where I was. Small favors.

So...in summary:
  • Rim and new spokes, $60 or so, when half price.
  • Two new tires for the road bike to replace the old ones, about $100 (Kevlar bead - it's a nice bike - damn things cost as much as tires for my Saturn)
  • 4 total ruined tubes - about $22 total, not including $12 in new tubes to restock
  • New chain lube as all that handling made a mess out of the lube that was on the bikes - $5.99 (less $1, on sale)
  • Gas for two cars to get to Roseville and back from Eagan - probably several dollars.
Damn...more than one of Jen's car payments...lesson learned.

And speaking of biking, maybe if these senior citizens were doing more of it, and less hanging around the old folks retirement community, they'd be scoring a few less STDs.

1 comment:

CookieQueen said...

I am wondering at what point the Conservative Christians notice your site and you have them picketing your house (or blog) in outrage over your blasphemy. You and Dan'l can sit in your garage drinking beer and egging them on - we can have P'mon draw many renditions of himself with his "butt" on your driveway and really make them crazy.