Chapter 29, In Which I Dispatch Yet Another Deflated Inner Bladder Upon My Velocipede Thus Amazing The Natives And Saving The Day
It is quite amazing how heaven-sent a headwind of some six to seven miles to the hour can seem when compared to one of 30.
This morning, I left the house after noting that the thermometer was reading 18 degrees F, with the aforementioned slight headwind. I wished a "Good morning" to the lady whom I usually meet as she perambulates down my street, and made my way with some dispatch over to and across Evans Avenue. My legs were tired, but I felt good with the wheel under me.
Traffic was in short supply, again, this morning and the snow/ice was almost completely melted away after the last few, warmish, days. In place of glittering ice, though, I noticed a surfeit of glittering glass on the pavement. I did my best to avoid it, as would any gentleman of the bicyclette (or gentlewoman, for, indeed, they do exist) and continued on.
The sound of my steed's studded tires upon the pavement gave me pause to think that I need either to swap tires or, perhaps, even bicycles to better match the conditions. Snow was forecast for the afternoon leg of my journey, so I stayed with the studs for today.
As an aside: I saw, yesterday, that I have lost a small number of studs from the front tire, and the remaining studs on the centerline of both tires are beginning to show some wear. I suppose one should post the funds for the stud tool and a bag of replacements. I know they are listed as available for the Innova tires, if any kind purveyor of such items has them in stock.
I arrived at work after 35 minutes of a most pleasurable spin through the darkened city streets, and I must say I was feeling pleased with my efforts. Even without the leaden feeling in my legs, making my normal time in on the big tires seems like an accomplishment. Just before lunch, however, I lost a little of that convivial feeling when I noticed that the air pressure inside the front tire had seemingly equalled out to that of the surrounding atmosphere.
I did not allow that the barometric pressure had increased that much, so I checked and, sure enough (sir!), the air formerly inside the tube was now somewhere outside of it. It had apparently exited through some breach in the rubber membrane.
My mind immediately turned to the diamond-like glitter of broken glass I had observed on the predawn streets.
Further inspection seemed to clear the glass of any culpability, however. The offending escape route turned out to be a very small, round aperture suspiciously similar in size and shape to the distal end of the infamous "goat-head thorn".
I glued a patch over said portal of deflation, and replaced the tube into the tire. Two hundred twenty five strokes of my frame pump later, the wheel was ready to roll. Start to finish, fewer than fifteen minutes had passed. It is quite amusing how much quicker that seems when sitting in a nicely heated building than when you are crouched on the side of a dark road, brushing the snow off of the patch kit as you work, like an Eskimou of the Frozen North stripping blubber from a seal.
The return trip, this fine evening, was uneventful. The Gods smiled upon me and provided a gentle push, in the form of a tail-wind, for my entire journey and I arrived some 44 minutes after departing the laboratory.
The temperature was a moderate 32 degrees F (or 0 degrees C as our European brothers would have it), and I encountered only the slightest of a flurry consisting of sand-grain sized snowflakes.
Indeed, a gentleman could not ask for a much nicer ride upon his dandy horse on a January afternoon.