Friday, March 31, 2006

The rest of the story ....

It was 3:30 and I left my office for what should have been a 1 hour leasurely bike ride home.


After winding my way past hundreds of people at the Tidal Basin (the cherry blossoms are in full bloom and it is the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler weekend), I crossed the 14th Street Bridge and jumped on the bike trail towards home. As I past under the railroad bridge, I heard a funny sound ...


Hmmm.. somebody just got a flat. Oh man, that somebody is me!

No problem for me! I can change a flat and it is the front tire - EASY!!

5 minutes and I had the old tube out (bent stem valve) and the new tube in and I am just pumping away with my trusty frame pump when suddently the pump flys out of my hands and I find myself holding my tire... with NO STEM VAVLE IN SITE!!!!!!!!!


Seams that I snapped the stem valve in half! This is not an easy thing to do and now I had no spare tubes. Naturally I pulled out my cell phone and called Jim.

Message One: Hi! It's me and I got a flat. Somehow while fixing it, I managed to snap the stem valve on my spare tire tube. Can you come and get me? I am at Gravely Point and it is nice out so I will just hang out here. Love you!

I sat and watched other people ride and run by on the bike path for about 20 minutes... really just enjoying the afternoon and my unexpected break. I got bored though and worried that maybe Jim was on a bike ride himself which meant he wouldn't get my message for another hour and a half and I could walk home by I pulled out the original tube and futzed around with it.

It seems that the tube would hold air even though it was bent and so I took a chance and put the tube back in the tire and SLOWLY pumped it up. It was far from full but holding air and the ride home was pretty flat until the last mile...It was worth a shot.

Message Two: Hi! I mangaged to get my old tube to hold air. I'm gonna try to ride home. I'll call you with updates .. Call me when you get this and check on me please! Love you!

Message Three: Hi! I made it to Old Towne .. I am half way home. Boy does it suck riding on a low tire, my bike feels 10 pounds heavier. I'm still on my way home.

Message Four: Hi! You are still not home so I am guessing you are out riding too! I am at Bell Haven now and only 2 miles from the house. I am planning to walk the hill so I'll see you in 20 minutes.

I definately walked the Bell Haven Drive hill. Heck I swear I am going to walk it on days when my tires are pumped up perfectly .. It is that kind of hill. The last two miles were a challenge but I was happy to be home. It took me 2 hours to go 14 miles .... HAHAHAHA!!! That just slays me!!

As I turned onto our street, my cell phone rang:

ME: Hi Honey!
JIM: Where are you?
ME: Pulling into the driveway!!
JIM: Okay, then I will turn off the car.. I was getting ready to come get you.

My first commute of the season was an adventure!! What a way to start the weekend!



nancytoby said...

Ack! Glad you made it home okay! What a pain!!!!!

*jeanne* said...

It was a bit of accidental cross-training! Sounds like you handled it great! It was fun, wasn't it? (in an obnoxious sort of way?)


it's only fuel said...

That's a funny story...this has happened to me before too. For some reason, the tires only go flat when the hubby's not around. Weird cosmic coincedence? I think not!

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Ack, quite the ride!

surferchickHG said...


William said...

I've broken my fair share of stems.

Now, I always try to inflate the tire off the bike.

I hold the pump out and let the rim/tire hang off the top of the pump, then pump it up.

Pushing the pump with the rim on the bike puts a lot of pressure on the side of the valve and then SNAP!

Glad you made it home, sorry it was such a detour!