rode the bikes home from school twice last week... the second time was a bit of a hassle

oh man... oh oh man!

they say... "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"
or something to that effect

well... so many malfunctions on the bike could be avoided through some minor adjustments
oil on the chain can prevent a chain break
air in the tires can help to prevent a pinch flat
bringing pump, tools, and tube can keep the bike rolling instead of having the cyclist walking

well, on afternoon last week I left out to get my boys from school
they had been dropped off and each of them had a bike at their respective schools
my plan was to go grab young Grant from pick up.... send him to the park... ride over to Dean's school
then ride back with Dean to get Grant from the park

this in response to the complaints from the ride earlier that week
Grant wanted to ride less... Dean wanted to ride more

I met Grant and called Dean
it pleased me to have Dean answer his phone
so often the phone is not on his person... the phone is not charged... the phone is not on... the phone is ignored
but not on this day
on this day... Dean answered his phone

Dean was instructed to wait for me... I had the key to his bike and was on my way to meet him in a few minutes
Grant was sent to the neighborhood park around the corner from his school where he was instructed to hang out and play until Dean and I rolled by to get him
Grant asked for an additional ten minutes before I had even arrived

in an effort to be fast and fluid I lept off the curb on my Jamis Nova cyclocross bike converted into a flat bar single speed... still used to race cyclocross
on my landing I felt the rear end get squishy and squirrelly
which had me return to the sidewalk

I dug through my bag...
there were water bottles, bananas, a helmet for Dean, a multi-tool, a patch kit, a few tubes, but no pump
no pump? 
go figure

so... I thought for a second where I could get air
there was a gas station around the corner from Dean's school
I figured I could ride cautiously and monitor the pressure
a few pedal strokes into the ride and I was riding like I had forgotten about the low tire pressure in the rear

a light was turning yellow
which had me out of the saddle and hustling to get through before things turned red for me and green for others
as I crested a small rolling hill the road got a little rough
lots of the DC Streets are convoluted 
littered with pot holes and all sorts of cracks and crags

I heard it... that metallic chime of the rim kissing the pavement
my low tire pressure when to flat in a second


I was back on the sidewalk again... only not slow rolling... I was walking
a block of walking and I took a glance at my situation
it occurred to me I was equidistant between home and Dean's school
rather than walk to Dean's school... then walk to Grant's school 
or whatever I would have to do to get air in the spare tube
it made more sense to walk home and grab another bike

I called Dean and told him I would be late... Grant without a phone would have to wait
in my mind I thought this would be a bonus for Grant
as Grant would be getting that additional time that he requested
ah... it would all work out

I started walking... I enjoy walking
but... I do not enjoy walking my bike
walking a bike is like pushing a car
there is not much pleasure to it

after a mile or so of walking I moved from the sidewalk to the bike lane in the street
I hoped to flag down a pick up truck to give me a ride the final mile home

then it happened... a neighbor honked and waved
I motioned for them to stop
then put my bike in the back of their family wagon
relief... no more walking
I would be home sooner than anticipated... which would get me to the boys less late than anticipated

at home I grabbed an alternate bike and a bike pump
then pointed to get Dean
we meandered through the neighborhood of Cleveland Park arriving at Macomb Park only to find tha that the park was closed for renovations
Grant was standing on the sidewalk waiting for us

Grant was a good sport... no complaints... no attitude
I gave him a hug and apologized

the boys were hungry... I had a snack
but then thought about dinner
the flat tire really threw things off
the frozen lasagna would take too long to cook

so... I proposed Cactus Cantina

we went to Cactus Cantina for an early dinner
then rode home
it was cutting it close
but I got to coaching Grant's soccer team on time and Dean got to Karate on time

the flat was a hassle
but a solvable problem


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