Monday, January 07, 2008

Three strikes

Monday, 7 January

The 28 mm armadillo rear tire has been retired (there's a pun there, I'm sure, but no coffee yet, so I can't quite make it happen). Just about the time it started to snow on yesterday's ride, my tire developed a slow leak. By the time it was a full-on snowstorm, I realized I had no choice but to stop and fix a rear flat. My hands had been toasty warm, but funny how taking all your gloves and mittens off and handling a cold, wet tire while it's snowing chases that feeling away. The gloves I left on my hands got wet from the tire; the ones I took off and set on the ground got wet from the giant snowflakes. I was still an hour from home, and I was pretty sure I would lose all feeling in my hands on the long gradual descent that was ahead. But no, goretex mittens/shells are a great wind barrier and ever so gradually my hands got less frigid (mind you, I'm not saying they got warm again). And the second flat I feared didn't materialize.

Three flats in three months is not a very good track record, and I'm now happily rolling a skinnier Continental duraskin rear tire. I was hoping to fly up the hills on my commute this morning, but where I really noticed the difference was on the flats and downhill sections. The bike seemed a lot squirmier, um, I mean responsive, but I got used to that within a few miles. But no excuses for being the slow one on team rides any more....

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