Friday, April 4, 2008

another april

Things are getting busy. The bike buying season in Anchorage is off to an early start. I only hope it'll be a little less intense, spread out over more weeks than the usual April/May gotta-have-it-now buying season. In the shop where I work, spring is the season of OT. Overtime every day, every week and pretty soon a girl can have enough mad money to buy or build the bike of her dreams... ok, the next bike of her dreams. Maybe have enough left over for a ticket to a great biking the fall...

Speaking of destinations, our friend just moved to Moab (oh, he'll be back - can't stay away from Alaska too long). His recent email had a hint of embarassment at how few days he is required to work and how great the riding is. I guess after he pushed a bike through the snow for 400+ miles, I can't fault a guy for only working four days a week... or can I?

I can't even fathom pushing my bike for more than a mile or so. Last night I was annoyed to walk it a half block! Just one night after leading a flat fixing clinic for my friends, I was biking home with Jon when I noticed that my commuter bike with no suspension suddenly felt, well, like it had suspension. We'd crossed an intersection and started down a hill on the Lake Otis path. The squishiness at first felt nice, but quickly I recognized the feel of a rear tire flat. Glass on the trail! I'd seen it but didn't manage to avoid all of it.

I yelled to Jon to hold on and we pulled into a side street where in the on-and-off glow of a streetlight plus our headlamps we changed out the tube. We've been biking together for a long time and have tag-teamed on plenty of flats, so while I took the tube from the tire, Jon got the spare tube ready and we found the puncture. In just a few minutes, we were on our way.

That's when Jon confessed he wasn't carrying a spare tube or a pump - hasn't all winter. I have been hauling this equipment all season and this has been my first flat. This morning, before riding in to work, he grabbed a spare tube from the garage - hopefully he grabbed a pump as well. April is the season when lots of folks begin commuting again. It's also a big month for flats. You'd better be ready.

Glad I know how to fix these things!

No comments: