The weather forecast called for a cold rain pretty much all day today back here in Birmingham. But as I was working from home, I noticed a huge gap in the rain clouds on the radar. So I decided to go for the 60 mile climbing ride that I’ve been wanting to do after the flatlands and small rolling hills of the midwest. My legs felt a bit tired, but otherwise the ride was going great with no rain and relatively warm temps. The second time up Double Oak Way was too much for my aging rear tire, though, and I felt the squishy feeling of a tire going flat. Sure enough, the tire had maybe 20 pounds of pressure left in it. I stopped and proceeded to change the tire, patch up the small holes I found, and got ready to pump up the tire. Well, my CO2 cartridge didn’t go onto the valve correctly and the air leaked out of the cartridge almost immediately. I was only able to get maybe 10 pounds of pressure back into the tire. I decided to see if I could ride back to the Bike Link store near Meadowbrook about 10 miles away. I went slowly with as much weight as possible on my front tire. Eventually, though, the little pressure I had left in the rear tire was all gone, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to ride. I pressed on and made it to the Bike Link shopping center on 280 only to find that the Bike Link store was gone. I knew that Dick’s Sporting Goods (in the same shopping center) sold bikes, so I went in there instead hoping that they would have a bike pump. Not only did the very helpful employees lead me to the back of the store where they sold bikes so I could use one of their bike pumps, they also gave me a slime tube (self-sealing in case of a flat) and two CO2 cartridges for free because I didn’t have my wallet with me!!! Wow, thank you Dick’s!
After many thank yous, I took off because I only had 20 minutes to get from Dick’s on 280 to Rocky Ridge Elementary school off of Acton Rd to pick up Analise from school. Kristine told me that she was running errands and might not be back in time to pick up Analise. Since I was supposed to be home by around 2:00 with school getting out at 2:45, I was supposed to be home in case she didn’t make it back in time. Well, riding 10 miles with a flat tire greatly slowed my average speed and it was 2:25 when I left Dick’s. I drilled it as hard as I could covering the 8.5 hilly miles through Meadowbrook, Caldwell Mill, and Acton Rd in 20 minutes (25.5mph). By miracle, I made every light on the way home including the 280 light, the Valleydale light from the back entrance of Meadowbrook and the Acton Rd lights! When I got there, the buses were just leaving, and the carpool line was starting to move so I rode right through the carpool line and up to a teacher I recognized to ask if Kristine had made it over to walk Analise home. She came back and told me yes. So relieved I rode around the back of the school and caught up with Kristine, Analise, and Josiah walking through the woods. Whew, what a fun ending to a miserable ride – the awesome folks at Dick’s Sporting Goods really came through, and Analise wasn’t left at school wondering where we were!
Double Oak Way ride data with annotations