Sunday, March 20, 2011

Serenade in A flat

Today was gorgeous and I was glad to be out zipping around with Ollie much of the morning. After a trip to the farmers' market to pick up some produce for the week, I met mom for a nice late lunch and a sunny stroll about Dupont Circle. Around 4:30, I walked mom back to the metro, called Wolf to say I'd be coming by to pick up the leg of lamb (more on this most beautiful of grassfed lamb loins to come in a later post), hopped on Ollie and... noticed a familiar bumping and wiggling in the rear tire....

I'd not had one flat since being back in the District. Since July! In fact, I'd just been marveling at this good fortune on my ride out to cousin Sonia's place for dinner on Friday. Well, we all know what happens when Ibti gets cocky. Yep, strings of flat tires. Oh, but *this* time I was prepared. I had my pump and my patch kit... without a tire iron... but... but... okay, fine, I used the flip-out footholder on my bike pump to slide the tire off. MacGuyver would've been proud. I found the hole in the tire tube (and the GIANT thorn still wedged in there, which I promptly yanked out) and got to work preparing the area around the gash with some sandpaper. Patting myself on the back -- oh, when will I learn? -- I cracked open my tube of... dried out rubber cement. And no back-up spare tube to be found.


(What would MacGuyver say? Nothing. He'd be shaking his head and starting to search his pockets for twist ties and sticks of gum, I'll bet.)

I hadn't felt this unprepared since, well, that time I got a flat on my way to work at the bike shop two years ago and vowed I would never again be thus unprepared. Argh. The nearest bike shop was open for another ten minutes, I learned during a frantic phone call, so I locked a still upside-down Ollie to a nearby park bench -- oh, the inhumanity! (luckily, she isn't human) -- and hotfooted it five blocks up Q Street with my helmet and tulips, arriving just in time to purchase a patch kit and spare tube before The Bike Rack closed for the day. Praise the lord, that was a close one!

I swear Ollie was smirking as she lay prone against the metal bench while I fiddled with installing a new tube. It was a bit more challenging since in my fervor whilst using it as a tire iron I seem to have accidentally snapped the little foot holder thingy on the pump, necessitating some minor contortions on my part to inflate my new tire. But I got it. And I learned my lesson (again).

So tonight, as my chocolate torte cools on the rack and my leg of lamb marinates in the fridge, I settle in to patching a few old tubes to have on hand for future mishaps of the road shrapnel variety. I will not be caught singing a serenade in A flat next time....

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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