Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Psst! Hey, Buddy, You Need a Tube!

I had driven over to White Ranch Open Space, in my 1975 International Scout II, to do a quick, hard mountain bike ride.  I liked to ride there because, if I parked at the bottom of Belcher Hill and rode to the top (4.4 miles, 1740 feet of elevation gain) and then did a couple of the loop trails on the way back down, I could get quite a workout in a couple of hours, and 12 or 15 miles of riding.

Belcher Hill Trail was where I had been stalked by a mountain lion, a couple of years previous to this ride, but I wasn't too worried. I had never seen a big cat in the area during the summer, and I didn't encounter one on this ride.

No, the ride was excellent.  The climb was grueling, the loops were challenging, and I had enough fun to somewhat justify the 100 miles round-trip drive from our house in Elizabeth.  (I get very little mountain biking days in, now that I try to not drive unless necessary.)

I got back down to the parking lot dirty and tired, but unscathed.  I had experienced no huge crashes, or unfortunate dismounts.  Everything had gone swimmingly.

I rolled into the gravel lot on my S-Works M2, and made a big sweeping turn in order to end up behind the Scout, so that I could hang the bike on the hitch rack.  I coasted up to the rear bumper, almost too slow to balance, and nudged my front tire against the rear bumper, rather than hitting the brakes.

Psssssst!  Immediately, my front tire was flat!

I got off the bike, and I had to laugh.  Somewhere on the trail, I had picked up a pretty good sized Goathead thorn, between the knobs of the tire, but it hadn't penetrated the tube.  When I nudged the tire up to the bumper, I hit it right on the stupid thorn and drove it through the tire casing and into the tube, like I had driven a nail with a hammer.

I hung the bike on the rack, flat tire and all, and headed home.  I was just happy that I had the flat right there, rather than on the trail.


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As always, sorry about the word verification. It's a necessary evil, unfortunately.