February 20th

by Lisa Rosen on February 20, 2007

Today felt like I had been released from prison. Admittedly, I’ve never actually BEEN released from prison, so maybe it wasn’t quite that good, but it was up there. The sun shone all day, the high was something like 66 degrees, and I even managed to sneak in a bike ride. Sort of.

I spent most of the day painting, gazing longingly out the windows, but then I got to a stopping point, threw on my bike clothes, and headed out. As I was putting air in my front tire, the valve tore off the tube. Mr. Helpful was inside, so I stood there for a second, torn about what to do next, but then I was a good girl, and changed the tube (actually, I opened the door to the kitchen and yelled inside that I had a flat tire. My son laughed, but luckily no one else heard–no one came running to help, anyway). First, though, I decided I shouldn’t use a tube from my saddle bag, so I had to rummage in a bin to find another one. As I was doing that, I realized that we have probably 15 tubes of various sizes in various storage containers, so I decided to pull them all out, so that I can sort through them later and organize them somehow. In my typically sensible fashion, I started piling tubes, frame pumps, and CO2 dispenser/cartridges on the hood of my car. We have quite a collection.

I finally got around to installing one of the tubes on my bike, which took about 15 minutes, because it popped out in one spot and I refused to pull the whole tire off and start over, and instead rubbed all the skin off my right thumb shoving the tube up under the bead. Finally got it on, then decided to practice using CO2, since I had all those cartridges out anyway. The good news is, we now have fewer cartridges lying around. I blew threw three in no time, and didn’t manage to get a single molecule of anything into the tire. So I gave up and used my floor pump. I had to release the air and start over three or four times because of the tube bulging in spots, but the whole thing finally got seated, and just as I was finishing up, Mr. Helpful wandered out to the driveway, surprised that I was “back already.” Hah!

Anyway, I finally got onto the bike and actually rode it. Not as far as I had intended, but it was good enough. Get this–I was wearing shorts and a short-sleeved jersey! Wheee! Even with the grease and the skinned thumb and–gasp!–broken fingernail, it was a very happy-making ride.

Two other points: the silver lining of the tire-changing detour was that I found the tiny red box full of tiny little screwdrivers that’s been missing for weeks. The day of my 80-mile ride I decided I needed to install a new rear light (long story–my good one got lost just before/during CNC, so I’ve been carrying my back-up clip-on in my saddlebag for emergencies, but it’s hard to attach, so I bought a more permanent one, but haven’t installed it yet . . .), but squandered half an hour of riding time looking for those screwdrivers. The light’s not very helpful if you can’t get it open to put the batteries in, so I just left it in the kitchen and rode with the back-up again. The new light has been lying on the counter ever since, reproaching me for not being more aggressive about finding the screwdrivers. But today I found them! So now the little box of screwdrivers is sitting on the counter with the still-unassembled light, waiting to reproach me every time I walk into the kitchen. I have a solution to that problem. The weather’s supposed to be great for the next few days–I’ll just skip the kitchen, and ride instead!

Second other point: Brevet week starts 3 months from today. PBP starts 6 months from today. Just thought I’d mention it.

ps–I forgot about the assorted paraphernalia on the hood of my car until I went racing out the door around 6:30 to pick my daughter up. So I had to bundle it all up and shove it somewhere out of the way. Hmmm . . .

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