Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy Winter Bike to Work Day!

Last night after work I hopped on my bike, pedaled about 2 feet before noticing my back tire was flat. I could feel it in an instance. I am actually starting to enjoy the cold rides. The morning cold stings my face and gives me that natural Botox feel which wakes me right up. On the ride home it feels good to leave the stuffy office and suck in the wintry air that is void of the hot musty city smell that the summer months radiate.

So I bummed to see that my tire was flat. I jumped on the nearest subway and examined the rear tire. At once I saw the twig-like object jutting out of the tire. I pulled it out with ease. It was a small, thin piece of metal about the width of a toothpick. Where it came from, who knows, but I can't even bend it so it's no wonder it pierced right through the rubber tire.

The culprit of my first flat

Of course this happened right before Bike to Work Day. I had plans to meet a friend for drinks and did not have time to go home and change the tube right away. I dropped the bike off at my apartment, removed the tire and left it at the foot of my bed to remind me to change it when I got home from who knows how many drinks. 

I was not too upset about the thought of undertaking the task. My tire was bound to suffer a flat and I figured it was better to get more practice at home before it happened on the road when I am miles from... anything. I have changed my tire once before for practice and it was not too difficult with the help of Youtube videos. I was confident I could do it a second time on my own.

Upon returning from the bars, I remembered the flat tire before I even saw it. I got out my tire levers and began the removal process. Once the tire and tube were off I gave my rims a nice cleaning. Gotta love that shine! I grabbed the new tube, gave it a few pumps to give it some shape and begun the re-installation.

This went way smoother than my first change. I think, because I had a few beers, I was a little less careful and just went for it. I still made sure to not pinch the tube inside the tire because that could cause another flat. In all, it probably took only 10 minutes, which I considered a success.

With a new tube and clean rims I was ready to wake up and ride to work!

Winter Bike to Work Day was also a success. I checked my phone and it read 18 degrees. With a slight hesitation, I went for my big winter ski jacket, zipped it all the way to my nose and embarked on the roads. Between the winter jacket, thick socks, thermals under my jeans and two pairs of gloves, the 18 degrees felt no different then when it is in the 30s. Piece of cake!

I am thankful for Anders Swanson (creator of Winter Bike to Work Day) initiating this day because it has showed me that riding in the cold winter months really isn't that bad.

Get on your bikes and ride!

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