Finally, FINALLY, this long E-Ville winter has let up. The robins have returned and most of the snow has finally melted. More cyclists are popping up, the bike paths are mostly clear, and the city’s finally making a little bit of progress (hey, every bit helps) in cleaning the streets and filling the potholes.
This past week, I took two epic rides in honor of me getting older. The first was with a half dozen of my closest friends, followed by a lovely dinner. The idea was to meet up in a park near my workplace and set forth from there. I was so stoked for just a simple ride with good friends for the first time after such a brutal winter, I don’t remember the last time I was so excited about a bike ride.
So, of course, I also ended up getting my first flat tire in forever on the way to work. The back wheel that came with the Transend included a “self-healing” tube filled with tire slime, which bled fluorescent green slime reminiscent of you can’t do that on television all over the back end of my bike and into a small pool on the ground. Given the quarter inch long shark tooth shaped piece of metal that was completely embedded in the tire, the slime probably slowed the release of air enough to get me down the road instead of immediately and completely deflating. Still, I was on the cusp of an epic ride with a flat tire and a bike that looked like it ran over a gremlin, and though I had a pump and a patch kit, the patches wouldn’t stick to slime so I would need a new tube.
Luckily, my friends are awesome. I sent out text messages with my tube size, pumped up my tire after work and set off, hoping the tire would hold air long enough to get to the rendezvous point in the park.
Eventually, someone showed up with a tube, and we fixed up the bike, and even though we spent way more time hanging around the park and less time riding than originally planned, it was still a lovely evening. Thanks everyone for an awesome birthday! (And special thanks to Geneva for pumping my tire up to 60psi with the little frame pump!)
This week I also hit the highway and made my first ride out of the city of the year to see my folks.
Within city limits, the shoulder of the highway was still covered in an inch or two of gravel, and it was a tough slog, especially on Marjory, but after I passed the county line it looked like there had been some effort made to clear the winter debris. Riding in the city all winter is good exercise, but you never have the chance to just ride flat out for miles and miles, and I was a little surprised at how winded I got on some of the long overpasses. Other than that, it was an uneventful ride.
Later, on a warm spring night, riding with a friend, I decided to stop at a dumpster I know is often good for food and flowers. I needed bread, but I wanted flowers. I guess you can’t always get what you need. I didn’t even have to dismount from the bike, I just stuck my arm in the dumpster and pulled out a dozen long stemmed roses that were laying on top of the rest of the trash.
The best things about the arrival of spring are not having to always ride alone, and being able to stop and look for treasure (Terrence and Phillip got one thing right about this canuck) without freezing your butt off.