when i think back, it wasn’t so bad…. rolling for about 50 minutes dripping sweat into a puddle beneath my bike. yelling my conversations because i have my ear buds on. what is there not to like? warmness? feeling your toes? non-frozen facial hair? oh…and tires full of air?

it was a nice warm day today, at least compared to yesterday. yesterday was 3!!! this morning it was 15. i was going to ride in yesterday but i took too long to get ready, so i bailed. this morning, i was ready. i even had time to fix a flat that i had before the ride. it turned out that fixing that flat was just a warm up for the ride. i got a flat about half way through the ride, or about 7 or 8 miles. son of a…. it happened on the rear wheel…next to the cemetery. not that the cemetery had anything to do with it, not that i believe in ghost or super natural events…. but i just thought i would mention it, because it was interesting. so there i am; 15 degrees above zero, next to the highway and cemetery, trying to remove my rear wheel of my internally hubbed bike. it a very challenging task to do in the comfort of you living room, but given the conditions on this morning, my friends; this was impossible…. and yet it was ten times easier than trying to put it back on.

my hands were ok initially, or for the first minute or so. then something very cryogenic came over me while holding a cold metal wrench in one hand a wheel axle in the other. i was very cold and yet i was only 10% complete. i got the wheel off and tried to keep all the hub parts from getting lost by putting them in my backpack. then i turned out that i only had one tire “iron” so i had to use the cold metal cone wrench i had. did you know that warm rubber stretches much better than cool rubber? did you also know that cold rubber stretches much better than super cold rubber? i got the stupid tire off and examined the tube. looks like my ‘slime” green teflon tire liner rubbed another hole through the tube. i will never buy those pieces again. they have rough edges and really damage the tube. choose another brand!

just before i was removing my wheel from the bike, someone passed by and ask if i was ok. he saw the daunting task i had before me, and changed his question to, “do you need a ride”. he said he could take me into town, and that it would be no problem. i smiled and without even thinking… i said no thank you, i should be ok. the guy said, “are you sure?”. then i said, “yes…thank you so much though”. then off he went, and there i stayed…. nearly frozen.

i got the wheel back together, and started mounting the wheel and shifter stuff back on, when i realized that i don’t need to shift, as long as i have the chain connected.  this was something i have been worried about since i made the bike, but now i realized that as long as the bike runs i’ll be ok.   so i did the impossible. i changed a flat in the bitter cold weather, on my bike with an internally geared hub!!!  another small accomplishment was that i rode another 7 miles of road in granny gear!!!

got to work super late super cold and super hungry….. but very gallant.

i made it home with out incident… it was 9pm, and 15 degrees.

One comment on: shoulda stayed on the rollers

  1. Becky

    You can really paint a picture with words. I almost feel like I am out in the cold with you..but no..wait..I am in Hawaii running on a beach!

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