Trying to get back into my normal routine, my alarm went off promptly at 5:00 AM. I had prepared everything the night before so it was easy getting ready. I was excited to head out and ride again.
I opened the garage door and stepped out. Man it was humid. It’s supposed to be 96F today so I’m not surprised. I close the garage door, turn on the front and rear lights, clip in and set out on my first ride in a month and the first since my crash.
I get out of my neighborhood and out onto the main road. There’s very little traffic. I pulled into the turn lane to make a right turn and then, “BAM! WWWWWWSSSSSSHHHHHH!” Not a simple “WWSSHH.” This was a catastrophic “BAM!” and I was flat. I was barely a half-mile from home so I just turned around and walked back. I didn’t even think about trying to fix it.
Upon returning home I did a quick inspection and found a large (about half the size of my little finger fingernail) hole a few inches from the stem. How did that happen? I had just replaced the tube a couple of days ago so I could have pinched the tube between the tire and rim but I had inspected it after replacing it so I don’t feel that’s it. I did a quick inspection of the tire and couldn’t find anything obvious so I don’t know. I know my tires need replacement so that could be it. This evening I’ll perform a better inspection and see if I can find a solution. The problem could be my mediocre bicycle repair skills but I believe the culprit is the tires.
Why do I think it’s the tires? Well, if you look at them they look unsafe. The tread is ‘ok’ but the sidewalls are in bad shape. You want to know the bad part? This is embarrassing but, in my attempt to be totally honest with you, I have to admit that these are the original tires that came on my bike. For those of you not aware of my entire story, that puts these tires age at about 15 years. Yes, 15 years. How many miles? I don’t know. A lot. Was I riding on borrowed time? Absolutely. Should I have replaced these tires years ago? Yes. Should I have replaced them a couple of months ago when I was getting the Cannondale ready to ride? Yes. I have no excuses. Feel free to read me the riot act in your comments. I deserve it.
So, my return to riding following my crash didn’t go nearly as well as I had planned. Out of my last four rides I’ve had two flats, a crash, and one good ride. I’m getting the feeling that somebody is trying to tell me something. I will persevere though. Two new tires and a new tube will be purchased this week so I can try again.
For those expecting to visit the site today and read about another great ride I can assure you that I’m as disappointed as you are. I guess it’s times like this that will really show us how committed we are to something.