The cycling gods must be crazy

3 11 2015

The cycling gods must be crazy.

When the sun broke through the autumnal cloud deck for the fifth consecutive Tuesday, there was no doubt about the day’s itinerary.

But it seems the cycling gods had other designs. It’s as if they were saying, “It’s November and it’s barely 10 degrees; what the heck are you doing out here?”

Their toll for my temerity was two flat tires (or at least the same flat twice), three wasted CO2 cartridges, a long slow walk in bike cleats, and an awkward slow-motion rear-ender when my riding partner was unexpectedly cautious at a right turn into a bike lane. Oh yeah, and our train luck ran out.

It had all started so well.

We beat two trains at level crossings and we were making good time on our intended route eastward.

But after a short stint on the debris-riddled shoulder of a busy highway, followed by a long stretch along a gravel dike, I was feeling more bumps through my rear tire than I should. Sure enough, it was getting soft.

There was no apparent cut or gouge in the tire itself, so perhaps it just needed a blast of air to compensate for the colder temperatures and my inattention at topping it up before the ride.

That’s when the trouble began.

It seems the threads on my CO2 valve had become stripped and I blew through both cartridges without a single puff of air entering the tube.

Neither of us carries a mini-pump.

I was hooped.

Or was I?

As it turns out, Norco Bikes has a distribution warehouse just up the street from where we were stopped. Many of the cars in their lot have racks. Surely someone who works there has a pump?

The receptionist pulled a RaceFace from her desk drawer.

“It happens a lot,” she said.

Then one of their technicians appeared and offered a much more robust floor pump.

He topped both our bikes and we were on the road again.

Thanks Norco dudes for topping us up and getting us back on our way. For a bit.

Thanks Norco dudes for topping us up and getting us back on our way. For a bit.

For a bit.

Until it became apparent that my tire problem was more than just insufficient air. I was flat again.

I plodded along for a bit, then hoofed it to the nearest bike shop.

I rearmed myself with a couple of new CO2 cartridges and a new trigger, Grant invested in a mini-pump. Our bases were covered.

This was an all-too-frequent sight in the summer. Seems my flat tire luck has now extended into the fall.

This was an all-too-frequent sight in the summer. Seems my flat tire luck has now extended into the fall.

Until I crashed into him as he stopped to make a right onto a bike lane. Our bikes went down in a tangled heap of carbon fibre.

It was a pretty slow speed collision, and apart from a couple of minor scratches, the damage was minimal.

But the message of the cycling gods was loud and clear; time to cut our losses and head for home.

Except for that long train we weren’t able to beat at the next level crossing.

And the coup de grace, our train luck runs out.

And the coup de grace, our train luck runs out.

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2 responses

3 11 2015
Rich

The gods were against you because of Grant’s shoes.

3 11 2015
Ian Jacques

This is awesome. Great story

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