This morning I got all my gear on (I do mean ALL — it was 16 degrees when I left the house [that's -8 C for you furriners]) and proceeded to ride merrily away. 8 miles into the ride (That’s about 12.8 km, foreign devils) I noticed that the bike wasn’t steering normally, and I pulled over to find that my front tire was going flat. Not a big surprise, really. We had gale-force winds yesterday afternoon when a big cold front went through, and there was debris all over the roads.
No big deal, right? I have a spare tube, and a pump, etc. So I get out my tire pump. The handle is stuck, so I pull on it a little harder– and it pops right out of the pump. It’s busted. Perhaps not actually designed for these temperatures.
At this point, I stop to mentally kick myself a few times.
I have, at home on another bike, a CO2 pump that would have solved the whole problem. It doesn’t weigh much, it would be easy to carry it in the panniers, and I’m an idiot for leaving it home.
I have an emergency backup of EVERYTHING. Else. I have pepper spray for dogs, and also an ultrasonic “dog remote.” I have a 9-volt battery in case the battery pack for my headlight runs out. I have extra batteries for the front and rear flashers. I have an extra taillight that I don’t turn on normally. I’ve got flashing lights on my helmet in case other lights run out. I have a spare pair of gloves. I have a patch kit in case the spare tube gets a hole. I have a multi-tool in case I lose my screwdriver. I have three pairs of glasses. No, four, plus three sets of interchangeable lenses for the bike glasses. I have an extra balaclava, in case –God knows what– happens to the one I’m wearing. Why don’t I have a spare pump?
Okay, got that over with. Next I pulled out my cell phone and looked at it stupidly for about 10 seconds. Should I call Robin? Nah. A) She’d be late to class if she came and got me and B) I’d never hear the end of it. Who do I know who both has a pickup truck and is likely to be awake at 6:40 AM? I called Walt, who came and got me — he was already at work, as usual.
So later today I’m going to the bike shop to return the broken pump and get something a bit more substantial. I know this won’t be a problem, as it’s a Serfas pump, and Serfas exchanges or refunds no questions asked. And my local bike shop is great anyway. Meanwhile, I guess I’ll go teach genetics.