Got my first bike commuting flat today

Well it had to happen, but unfortunately it had to happen while it was raining and I was carrying like 20 pounds of glass jars back home…

I did my ‘partial’ commute today, parking about 6 miles from work and cycling in the rest of the way. I got a late start in the morning but got to work with enough time to shower and change just fine. On the way back I was carrying a bunch of IKEA sealing glass jars that I’d asked my boss to get for me when he went there to get stuff for a work weekend he’s going to, so my pannier bags were loaded down. I noticed my rear tire was hitting the bumps and gratings particularly hard, so I kept going until it REALLY started getting low, and pulled off to check things out.

Got the wheel off fine and I carry tire levers, wrenches, spare tube, patch kit, etc., anyway so this wasn’t a big deal, but it was my first time with a new pump – I gave away my old Blackburn pump to a guy at work that cycles in, and picked up a dual-adapter pump that does both Scraeder (car-type) and Presta (road bike-type) inner tube valves. Anyway, it took me ages to figure out how to connect the pump to the valve, but once I got it figured out things went okay from there.

Still, it started raining hard on me in the middle of all this and I had to get my rain jacket and pants on, then pack everything up and soldier on to the car. It wasnt really that bad but it still took 15 minutes to sort it out.

Since I plan to bike in all the way on Monday, on Sunday night I’ll need to patch up the busted tube – which has already been patched twice at least! 🙂 I saw the patches as I was folding up the tube to stuff away in the bag.

This was also the first time I’d biked in the rain, and it wasn’t that bad. My jacket is from a company that makes cycling clothing, but it’s from their trekking/walking line, not cycling, yet it performed pretty good. It’s one of those ‘one-for-all’ type jackets that blocks most of the wind, is water resistant and has a bit of warmth to it, so it’s pretty good for nearly anything. The pants I keep tucked away on the bike are used by mail carriers in the UK (Royal Mail), and are waterproof/breathable – I last used them on my hike of Hadrian’s Wall back in 2005. They’re bulky but I don’t *need* to get all-new stuff when I have what I need already (I need to keep telling myself that!).

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