Friday, the end of the week. They day we all look forward to most. The day we do the least amount of work and usually, the day of the week that we show up to work recovering from a Thursday night bender.
This Friday was no different. After waking up from to my emergency alarm, I stumbled out of bed into the shower. “What is this taste?” I wondered. Oh ya, it was the reminder that “beer before liquor, never been sicker” actually holds some water. And while I did hold everything down last night, I was feeling the consequences. Snapped into my compression tights and shirt, I pedal out to the train station with the frigid, 42 degree autumn cold hitting my face. Once on the train I promptly fell asleep.
Now I do have an alarm set to wake me up before my stop. It’s set at the exact time the train is supposed to stop at the location BEFORE my stop. Which gives me about 4-5 minutes to clean up any sleep-drool from my chin before the train hits my stop in Richland Hills. Well, it also gives me about 4-5 minutes to fall back asleep. Which is exactly what happened.
Waking up, seeing the train doors start to close at your destination is frightening. An instant panic sets in. Can you pull a super-quick Jackie Chan move, gather your bag, helmet and bike and slip out the door before the train starts moving? The answer is no, no you can’t. Welcome to Fort Worth, sleepy head!
So, pop quiz hot shot: Downtown is eight miles from Loop 820 (where I work). You’ve got 20 minutes to be there on time and the next train doesn’t arrive for another 40 minutes. Do you wait for the train? Or do you hop on your two wheels and muster up the gusto to throw down 8 miles in 50 degree weather wearing your work clothes.
Gotta man up.
So I start pedaling, through downtown, through some projects, and over the Trinity with the sun is rising directly in my eyes. I even see another commuter go by – how cool! And Google Maps has me biking down the access road of highway 121 as the fastest route. And while I wasn’t afraid of the cars on the access road, I didn’t even think about the conditions of the road.
About a mile into my access road foray, everything’s going great until POP! SSSZZZZZZZ… My tire blows out.
Are you freaking serious! Another blown tire! I just bought new wheels, new tubes, and new tires so this wouldn’t happen! Now what am I going to do? With no spare tube, no patch kit, all in the freezing cold, I start walking. What else can I do? Oh yeah, let’s call Emily (co-worker) – who happens to also be running late to work.
After walking a mile, and giving directions to a distracted Emily, we meet up to put my bike in her trunk. As I put the bike in the trunk, I check the tire to see if I can find the wound that foiled my epic ride to work.
This is what I found.
A rusty old nail that punctured not only my tube, but went straight through my rubber tire as well. After, waking up drunk, sleeping through my train stop, biking in 45 degree weather, blowing a flat and having to walk in the very same weather, I can take away one thing:
I am 100% buying a saddle bag to hold a spare tire and patch kit.
Damn! It’s amazing the trash that’s left on the side of the road these days… Lucky you didn’t hit an old matress! Great to see your street cleanup project taking place. I’m gonna try to make it out to lend a hand.
Loved the post
I forgot where I heard about the street clean up project. It might not have been you guys but it’s definitely happening in Deep Ellum. Have you heard any details about it?
the street clean up project is a vague “idea” I had, couched in a pretend alternate reality, and without any basis in this reality yet.
I’ve had two flats on one ride before, the orginal and the spare tube that I had. I the spare was a blowout so I had to reuse the orginal and hobble on home on it.
The cleanest road I’ve ridden on was at Corpus Cristi on Ocean Dr by the Marina. Super clean road with the occational hedge clippings.