Saturday, February 1, 2014

Ups, Downs, and Flats

What a day! It had it's ups, downs, and flats, but not in the way you might be thinking.

I needed to go earlier, and shorter, today due to my son's cello performance for Solo & Ensemble, a regional contest for Highschool age students. 

Four of us gals planned to meet at my house so we could do the paved road from Hwy 510 to Rainier Rd. (the one I finally found a few weeks ago). We left the house shortly after 9:00, and headed out toward Yelm on Yelm Hwy. Just before reaching Hwy 510, I noticed that bouncy sensation of a flat on the front. I called out that I had a flat. Everyone stopped while I changed it. I looked the tire over carefully, feeling inside for anything sharp, but came up empty handed. I decided it really was time for a new tire. 

I put the new tube in, inflated it, and we were on our way again. Just after making the turn off 510 onto the parallel road, I noticed the tire was flat again. Dang! Changed it again, this time looking very carefully for some offending sharpness. Still couldn't find anything. Put another new tube in and inflated it. Before I could even get the wheel back on, the tire was going flat again. Arrrgggg! 

I carry two tubes, not three. I was also out of CO2. Karen gave me a tube, and Debbie let me use her pump. I pulled the, now flat, tube out and threw it on the ground. Short of using a magnifying glass, I scrutinized every millimeter of the tire. Finally, I found the offender that caused all the flatness. It was a small piece of glass. I removed it, making sure I got all of it. I picked up the tube lying next to the one I had just removed and installed and inflated it. About the time I was finished, Karen came over and held up the tube that was draped over my rear fender. She says, "How come you didn't use the new tube?" Awwww...CRAP!!! I had just put the other punctured tube back on! Sheesh! Off came the tire...AGAIN (I was getting quite quick at this by now)! We were finally ready to go again. I checked the clock and figured we could still complete the route in time for me to make it to my son's performance. 

We had fun dodging the potholes, making sure to call them out and which way to go around them. "POTHOLE! Stay to the right (...or left...or center)!" There were a few steepish hills. We were all doing fine except for Cindy, who had so much pine needle stuff stuck in her fender that we finally had to stop and take the front wheel off to get it out. Then, she was much better.

We made it to Rainier Rd. without any further incidents. I told the gals that I needed to hustle to make it back in time. Debbie was the only one who had driven to my house, so she was the only one who needed to come back. The other two could continue on to their houses. I put the hammer down and rode all-out the rest of the way home.

I made it home with enough time to quickly change, and wash the dirt off my hands from changing the tire four times (the shower would have to wait). I managed to inhale a piece of cheese and a bar on my way back out the door. My plan had been to ride the two miles to the school, but I didn't have time for that. My husband had left his car here (I had taken my son over to the school in the morning), so I (shock of shocks!) drove!

I made it in time to see his solo performance. He did well, playing the Schumann Cello Concerto 1st movement. After his performance, I excused myself to come home and shower before returning to see his score for his solo and watch his cello duet with his friend. That, too, went well.

Since I was already halfway to the bike shop, I drove (choke choke) on over to get a new tire, some replacement tubes, and CO2. I decided, no more fooling around with inferior tires that will let in any old piece of glass. I got a Schwalbe Durano Plus. 

My son got home as I was finishing the installation of the new tire. He got 1st place, qualifying for the State contest! The excited happy dance was short-lived when Nolan looked to see when the State contest was. Turns out it's the same weekend we will be in Austin, Texas for my other son's Senior Solo Violin Recital at University of Texas (his Junior recital was the impetus for the Classical to Rock 'n Roll Tour from Austin to Memphis last Spring). He is disappointed that he won't play his piece at State, but...4 days in Austin will be pretty fun too.

So, the day was up, the day was down, and way too many flats to go around!

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