Sunday, July 15, 2007
I was 38 miles into my 46 mile bike ride today, feeling exhausted and jubilant that I was going to meet my goal of cycling 45 miles before heading to France. I had increased my average speed per hour, and was in the home stretch. Then. POP! My rear wheel had a blow out. Luckily, I had just picked up a new tube at REI, along with a new tire pump. With a little phone coaching from BMG, I started to change the tire. I took the new tube out of my Camelbak. And I realized it was a Schrader valve, not a Presta valve. It was useless to me.
Now, I'm stranded in Middleton, about 7 miles from my car. Ergh. Second bout of luckiness ensued. I had my travel club card with me. And, I pay an extra $10/month for bike roadside assistance. So, I called. (The company, by the way, is Better World Travel and they ROCK!) And, they arranged for a tow. Of me and my bike.
When Doug and his girlfriend, Dina, found me they started laughing their butts off. They were expecting a motorcycle, not a pedal bike. Doug must have called every one of his friends to tell them what he was doing. He kept saying "A pedal bike. I've never heard of anyone towing a pedal bike." As we drove through the suburbs I regaled Doug and Dina with stories about my having been caught in a bike sting operation set up to keep bicyclists from blowing through red lights in Cambridge, and my experience having my bike towed for being parked illegally. Yes, I had to go to a bike tow lot and pay a fine before my bike was released to me. (Who knew Cambridge had a 24-hour bike parking rule?) They giggled and shook their heads.
When I got back to my car, conveniently parked at REI, I returned $25 worth of bike equipment in a self-satisfied snit. Grabbed an Iced Venti Decaf Nonfat Vanilla Latte at the closest Starbucks, and made it home.
I still haven't biked 45 miles. But I know I can. When I get back from Paris, I'll do another 45 mile ride (once BMG helps me put my bike together again). I'll then pump it up to 50-54 miles (a 10-20% distance increase) and am certain I'll be ready to do 100 with the Narranganset Bay Wheelmen on September 9th. Hooray!